Lynwood children enjoy Swim and Survive fun

24 March 2017
Students at Lynwood Senior High School’s Intensive English Centre are currently enjoying a Swim and Survive Access and Equity program, learning vital swimming and water safety skills.Two swim instructors in the water with multicultural children at Lynwood Senior High School

The Intensive English Centre provides educational opportunities for students who are new to Australia, its language and the Australian schooling system, with a vital part of the program aiming to provide these children with an introduction to aspects of the Australian lifestyle. As a nation blessed with many varied waterways, swimming pools and aquatic recreation activities, swimming is an essential skill. The children taking part in the program have often come from refugee camps and countries where they’ve had little or no exposure to water safety concepts.

The current program started on Monday 20th March, and continues for two weeks, with 140 children taking part in daily Swim and Survive lessons. Prior to the commencement of the program they were also able to attend a water safety talk, which taught them the basic principles of water safety they needed to understand before getting in the pool. Each child also received a Swim and Survive pack, including goggles, a towel and a backpack to ensure they were well-prepared to take part in their Swim and Survive lessons.

One of Royal Life Saving Society WA’s key objectives is to introduce the Swim and Survive swimming and water safety program to all cultural groups across our state. Research has found that within these groups, there are alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs, while their awareness of the importance of swimming and water safety and lifesaving skills is significantly lower than the rest of the population. This contributes to their over-representation in drowning statistics.

The program at Lynwood has been held annually for five years and is always responded to very well by the children involved. It’s supported by our Principal Community Partner BHP Billiton, and the Department of Sport and Recreation, as part of our Access and Equity program which aims to reduce barriers to participation, by providing quality swimming and water safety lessons for children experiencing social or economic disadvantage.