Warburton kids swimming for a healthy feed

27 October 2020

Royal Life Saving WA and Healthway have been working together for more than ten years to ensure children across regional Western Australia have an opportunity to improve their swimming and water safety skills, while also learning about the importance of eating more fruit and vegetables, through the Go for 2&5 Swim for Fruit program.

Recently the program began for the first time at the local swimming pool in Warburton, a remote community in the Goldfields where 83% of the population is made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Statistics show that people are 2.3 times more likely to drown in regional and remote WA, with Aboriginal people at greatest risk. Aboriginal children drown at a rate two and a half times that of non- Aboriginal children in our state.

Children at Warburton enjoying the pool while to pool manager watches onThe Swim for Fruit program encourages children in regional communities to swim laps at their local pool, and rewards them for their swimming efforts with a healthy afternoon tea following each session. Those achieving a prescribed amount of laps are also eligible to earn incentive prizes such as goggles, Swim & Survive packs, t-shirts and flippers.

Warburton Pool Manager Steve Girschik says its been a real community effort to get the program underway. “I’ve been assisted by two youth workers from the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku to run the program. Cut fruit was distributed to approximately 35 children who took part after school in the first week, and another 40 who joined in with afternoon aquatic activities on the Saturday.”

The Swim for Fruit program will continue to run throughout Term Four, on Wednesdays after school and Saturdays after the lunch break. Children receive fruit after swimming four 20 metre laps as well as participating in aquatic activities such as slack line (tight rope) walking, tug-o-war and water polo.

Thanks to the support of Healthway new sporting equipment was purchased for the pool at the start of the season, to increase the fun and enjoyment for the children taking part in the program. Steve says the equipment has been well used and is very much appreciated by the children in the community!

You can find out more about Swim for Fruit at the link below.

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