Warmun back to school boat battle

14 February 2021
Children in the remote Kimberley Aboriginal community of Warmun celebrated the start of the school year with an epic contest for pool glory!

On 10th February, the Warmun Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool was host to a ‘Back to School Boat Battle’, which had been set up for the youngsters for an afternoon of fun. The battle took place both on and in the water, and involved the use of four inflatable boats complete with oars as well as personal flotation devices (PFDs).

Aboriginal boy giving a thumbs up at the local poolPool Manager Steve Waterman, said, “The kids couldn't believe it when they came to the pool; they saw four inflatable boats and oars. I could even hear them outside yelling and screaming when they walked by the fence, it was amazing to see how excited they were.”

Steve has been busy teaching water safety skills to his young charges all summer and is proud to see them applying the skills they’ve learnt. “The kids learnt how to row the boats with oars and how to assist each other getting in and out of the boats. It’s great to see how they continue to use the water safety skills they learn,” he said.

two Aboriginal boys in an inflatable boat in a pool“We had boat races with two kids per boat and PFD races as well. I was extremely impressed with the teamwork the kids displayed helping each other in and out of the boat – even towing the little kids around in the boats as well.”

Over 50 kids attended the pool for the event. “The day was finished off with a sausage sizzle and lots of fruit,” said Steve. “The kids had an awesome day and there was happy smiley faces all round.”

The boat battle was a great way for the kids to kick off the school year after their summer holidays. Like many of the communities in the Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Project (RASPP), Warmun has a No School, No Pool policy which has greatly helped to increase school attendance rates. 

The RASPP is supported primarily by the Department of Communities and managed by Royal Life Saving WA. The program has delivered significant positive outcomes for the communities involved, including health, social, education and training opportunities. Learn more about the benefits of the program at the link below!
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