Cassia students boost their water skills ahead of summer

29 September 2021

Children from the Cassia Education Support Centre in Port Hedland have been able to learn vital swimming and water safety skills during Term Three, with assistance from Royal Life Saving WA's Pilbara team.

Statistics show that overall participation rates in swimming lessons are significantly lower in regional and remote parts of WA than the Perth metro area, with the north-west region recording a participation rate that is 5.8 percent lower than the rest of the state. Given that people in regional areas are 2.3 times more likely to drowning than those in the metro area, and that the drowning rate amongst Aboriginal Australians is twice that of non-Aboriginal Australians, Royal Life Saving WA is working to support local programming in these regions and ensure children learn important water safety skills.

The Cassia students took part in Department of Education In-Term swimming lessons, while Royal Life Saving provided additional education resources including water safety booklets and access to our online water safety knowledge and learning courses, along with duck giveaways for the children, additional delivery resources and equipment for instructors, and support staff to assist in the lessons. Pilbara Development Officer Lauren Thompson says the program has been thoroughly enjoyed. "The students appeared to be very happy and comfortable in the water, which is fantastic to see."

Cassia Primary School Education Support Swim School Coordinator Kerrie Bignell said it was great to see the children so engaged in the water. “I was very impressed with the students' performance and level of engagement during the lessons, and it was clear they would be completely exhausted once they were done in the water! We might need to let them take an afternoon nap once they return to school!”

Royal Life Saving WA will continue to work alongside local community groups, schools and local governments in the north-west of our state to ensure regional children can take part in vital swimming and water safety programming in the lead-up to summer and right across the warmer months. You can read more about our work in regional communities at the link below.

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