Swim for Fruit season wraps up in Jigalong

15 April 2021
With the weather starting to cool down in the remote Aboriginal community of Jigalong, in WA’s Pilbara region, the Jigalong Community Pool is wrapping up many of its seasonal activities. One of these is the Swim for Fruit program, which encourages children to swim laps of the pool to earn themselves a healthy afternoon tea of fresh fruit.

Pool managers Ray Martin and Deb Gill have been keeping a tally of everyone’s laps for the season. Deb reported some worthy achievements from this Swim for Fruit season, including Pool Manager Ray racking up an incredible 8,000 laps (although he perhaps had an unfair advantage with all-hours access to the pool!) and service provider Mark achieving 1,670 laps. “Community kids Elliere who swam 214 laps and Mickayla with 184 laps were the standout swimmers,” said Deb.

“The community kids were treated to swimming laps with flippers and goggles, sponsored and supplied by Royal Life Saving WA and Healthway,” she said. “All swimmers will be presented with a certificate of achievement to conclude the 2020/2021 Swim for Fruit season.”

Jigalong children playing game of healthy twisterAs the water activities start to dwindle with the onset of cooler weather, Deb has been keeping the kids engaged with some fun games out of the pool instead. They recently enjoyed a round of a healthy version of ‘Twister’ supplied by Healthway – featuring brightly coloured fruit and vegetables in place of the usual game board.

Swim for Fruit is funded by Healthway and combines the healthy eating message of the Go for 2&5 fruit and vegetable campaign with physical activity in the pool.

The program runs in regional and remote Aboriginal communities, where the benefits are twofold. Aboriginal Australians have higher disease and death rates as well as higher rates of drowning. Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal drowning incident than non-Aboriginal children in WA.

Swim for Fruit aims to address these issues by providing swimming and water safety education and encouraging healthy eating. Learn more about the program at the link below.
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