Lynwood children take the plunge to learn vital swimming skills

29 March 2019

A swim instructor with a Muslim girl in the pool at LynwoodAround 90 students from the Intensive English Centre at Lynwood Senior High School are learning vital swimming and water safety skills, through a two-week Swim & Survive program at the school.

The Intensive English Centre at Lynwood 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.A swim instructor by the pool watching a boy perform a torpedo in the pool

Research has found that those who come to Australia from overseas have far less awareness about the importance of swimming and lifesaving skills than the rest of the population. Between 2005/06 and 2014/15, 347 people drowned in WA, with 39% of these people born overseas.

Royal Life Saving Society WA is determined to address these statistics. Our Swim and Survive Access and Equity program is working in communities across the state to provide education and resources for those who have never had an opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills.

A group of multicultural students sitting on the grass with their swim instructors, holding up red Swim and Survive packsLynwood Senior High School is in the City of Canning, where almost 40% of residents are from a multicultural background. This makes it the most culturally and linguistically diverse local government area in WA and highlights the need for inclusive swimming and water safety programming in this community.

The current program at Lynwood sees the students learn the basic principles of water safety before getting into the pool to learn practical swimming skills. Each child has also received a Swim and Survive pack, including goggles, a towel, a swim cap and backpack to ensure they were well-prepared to take part in their Swim and Survive lessons.

The program has been held annually at Lynwood for the past seven years and is always responded to very well by the children involved. It’s supported by our Principal Community Partner BHP.

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