Vital summer swimming skills for multicultural children

2 January 2022

As we head through a hot summer holiday period Royal Life Saving WA has been working hard to ensure all Western Australians have an opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills, enabling them to safely participate in the aquatic activities that are such a popular part of our lifestyle. Unfortunately for many who’ve arrived in Australia from overseas these skills are not something they have learned in their homeland which leaves them at real risk of drowning.

The recent Royal Life Saving WA Drowning Report for 2019/20 found that 38% of the 36 fatal drownings in our state during that period involved people who were born overseas. Of these, 55% were from a non-English speaking background.

As we work to reduce these figures our Endorsed Swim Schools at Cannington Leisureplex and Leisurepark Balga have been hosting special learn to swim programs for children from multicultural backgrounds. 106 children participated across both locations, giving them vital Swim and Survive skills that will help them to safely participate in aquatic activities with their friends and family during the summer holidays.

The program ran after school at Cannington and on Saturday afternoons at Balga, with the children taught by qualified Swim and Survive instructors. It has been made possible through finding provided by the Australian Government Department of Health as part of the Swim and Survive Access and Equity program.

We’re pleased to have been able to work in partnership with Communicare on the Cannington program, and with the Perth African Nations Sports Association (PANSA) on the Balga program. By working with these community organisations we’re able to ensure that our Swim and Survive program is made accessible for those most at risk of missing out on learning these vital skills, and in the most culturally appropriate format.

You can find out more about Access and Equity and the work we do with at-risk communities across Western Australian by visiting the link below.

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