Swimming skills for Yandeyarra school kids

19 March 2021

Royal Life Saving WA is pleased to collaborate with government and non-government organisations to ensure no child misses out on learning swimming and water safety skills. Teaching these skills is one of the most important investments we can make to help prevent drowning in our community.

Swim Instructor Sandra McKenzie with a child using a pool noodle to floatRecently, children in the remote community of Yandeyarra enjoyed three weeks of Education Department in-term swimming lessons thanks to our partnership with the Education Department and funded by Principal Community Partner BHP. Children in regional communities often miss out on the benefit of school swimming lessons, mainly due to a lack of swim instructors to run these programs in regional areas. Royal Life Saving WA and the Department of Education have worked together to find a solution to this problem, sending instructors from Perth or ensuring there are local instructors to conduct the lessons.

20 students from Yandeyarra Remote Community School took part in the recent program, which was facilitated the Yandeyarra Pool Manager Sandra McKenzie. Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Education, Trent Hotchkin, says it’s pleasing to see these children have access to this vital education. “We’re pleased to partner with the Department of Education and provide our support to ensure kids in regional WA have access to vital swimming and water safety lessons. No children should miss out on learning these skills due to their location.”

The latest National Drowning report highlighted the fact that 57% of WA's drowning deaths happened outside the metro area in 2019-20, with people 3.8 times more likely to drown in regional and remote areas of WA. Worryingly statistics also show that Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to drown than other children in our state. The provision of swimming and water safety programming in these remote Aboriginal communities is therefore crucial as we work to turn these figures around.

You can find out more about our work in regional and remote areas of WA at the link below.

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