Swim and Survive success at Fitzroy Crossing Swimming Pool

16 April 2022
Fitzroy Crossing Swimming Pool has enjoyed a busy swim season delivering the Department of Education’s Regional and Remote In-term Swimming Program this term, providing swimming and water safety lessons to schools from the Fitzroy Valley area. The lessons were made possible thanks to a service agreement between Royal Life Saving WA and the Department of Education.

swim instructor with two young studentsHome to around 50 Aboriginal communities with a population of roughly 2,000 people, the Fitzroy Valley boasts a small community that thoroughly enjoys the swimming programs offered at the remote pool managed by Royal Life Saving WA. The thriving Swim and Survive season saw significant community participation with 246 students and seven schools from the area taking part in the in-term lessons during Term 1. 

The successful swim season at Fitzroy Crossing Pool can be attributed to our newest Program Coordinator and Remote Pool Manager duo, Katie Boland and Chris Osborne, whose extensive regional and aquatic experience has made for an impactful first term for the pair. With the assistance of Chris, Katie has been facilitating lessons with students, ensuring students continue to have access to vital swimming and lifesaving training.  

As part of the swimming season, they have been working hard to deliver programs and events that encourage physical activity and a healthy lifestyle in the surrounding Aboriginal communities. A morning canoeing program was delivered to help engage kids, getting them to attend the pool before heading off to school. 

Throughout the season, healthy cook ups were hosted every Monday and Tuesday, getting children to assist cooking a healthy meal alongside the pool managers and Garnduwa, a dedicated Indigenous body promoting sport and recreation to remote communities in WA. With Aboriginal Australians reporting higher disease and drowning rates than non-Aboriginal Australians, regular events such as these, accompanied by regional swimming programs, help to encourage the uptake of healthier lifestyles and swimming skills in a fun learning environment. 

With the significant participation recorded over the term at the Fitzroy Crossing Swimming Pool, it’s apparent that the extra programs and events hosted by the new pool managers made for a successful and impactful swim season. Learning to Swim and Survive is vital to ensuring people in all of Australia’s diverse communities can participate on, in and around the water safely.