Tiny swimmers with big smiles in Quairading

22 April 2021

An Infant Aquatics program that ran recently in the town of Quairading, in WA’s Wheatbelt region, was very well received by both its young students and their parents. The program was made possible thanks to a partnership between Royal Life Saving WA and the Shire of Quairading and was supported by the WA Swim and Survive Fund, which aims to make swimming and water safety education accessible to more people across WA.

The eight-week program at the Quairading Memorial Swimming Pool commenced in mid-January, with lessons delivered by swimming instructor Tash from Royal Life Saving Endorsed Swim School Just Add Water Swimming. The Infant Aquatics program develops aquatic skills in children through age-appropriate activities, including songs and games, to encourage a variety of skills such as water entries, floating, breathing and movement.

Children on the edge of the pool facing their instructor in the water27 children, aged from six months to four years old, visited the Quairading Pool each Saturday afternoon for their lessons, with the program receiving plenty of positive feedback from parents. Bec Wilson, who participated in the program with three-year-old daughter Matilda, was very pleased with the results. “I cannot speak highly enough about the swimming lessons conducted by Tash from Just Add Water,” she said. “My daughter has not only developed confidence in and around the water but also has a good understanding of the necessary safety precautions to be taken around water.”

Shae Johnston also participated in the program with her children, two-year-old Evelyn and four-year-old Archie. “I am a strong believer that learning to swim at an early age is an essential skill set that all children should learn,” she said. “As farmers, our children are often around bodies of water which present potential drowning hazards. Ensuring our children have the skill set to survive a fall into one of these water hazards is vital.”

Shae also described the difficulties of obtaining swimming lessons for her children in a rural town. “Living in a rural area, we have struggled over the years to access lessons locally and have had to travel long distances in order to access swimming instructors. Many families miss out completely with children not having access to swimming lessons until they are in Pre-Primary.”

Shae said her son was a weak swimmer before he participated in this program. “He rarely put his head below water and would insist on flotation devices when swimming. Upon completion of the course, he was duck diving to retrieve items below the water and swimming without flotational support.”

“We were incredibly grateful to be able to take part in the lessons that were made available to us this year. These lessons have built both the skill set and confidence levels of our children and the children within our community. They may even save a young life as a result. Thank you, Royal Life Saving WA, for bringing this essential service to our rural town.”

To learn more about how the WA Swim and Survive Fund is helping WA families to access vital swimming and water safety education, follow the link below.

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