A day of rescuing and racing for children in Leinster

1 April 2022

On Friday the 25th of March, over 50 children in the Leinster community enjoyed a day of rescuing and racing at the Goldfields Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival at the Leinster Swimming Pool.  

Four girls with red towelsRoyal Life Saving WA Endorsed Swim Schools Coordinator, Amy Vearing, said the carnival aimed to teach students lifesaving skills through affording them the opportunity to participate in competitive rescue events. “They were all super keen to get in and have a go, even if they weren’t there for last year’s event.” 

The day was a success for the community made possible due to funding from our principal community partner, BHP, with students enjoying events such as freestyle, breaststroke, obstacle races and rescue tube relays, that would equip them for swimming in the various waterways in the Goldfields. Members from BHP were in attendance watching the significant community involvement whilst also cooking a BBQ for participants and event attendees.  

“With many of the children attending the carnival in Leinster coming from Aboriginal families in the surrounding towns, the Spirit Carnival is a great opportunity for local children to learn new skills and participate in the Swim and Survive program in a fun and interactive environment,” said Trent Hotchkin, Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Swimming and Water Safety Education. “It not only encourages physical activity, but also teaches children important swimming and lifesaving skills.” Two girls at pool with rescue tube

Aboriginal communities have been identified as more at risk of drowning, with the latest National Drowning Report finding that people were 2.3 times more likely to drown in regional and remote areas of WA than in the Perth Metropolitan area. Participation in swimming and water safety programs are of increasing importance for Aboriginal children, with data finding them to be 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal drowning incident than non-Aboriginal children in our state.  

Trent says giving these children an opportunity to take part in these swimming and water safety programs is essential. “Building swimming and water safety skills in young children is the single most important investment we can make as a community to prevent drowning. Learning to Swim and Survive is a vital life skill that provides children with the knowledge, confidence and skills to be able to safely participate in a variety of water activities which is why these types of events are so important, particularly in regional areas.” 

Two kids in pool giving high fiveRoyal Life Saving WA hopes that in hosting the carnival annually it will make a significant impact that contributes to a real difference in the future of regional and remote communities.  Trent says, “by enabling these children to take part in our Swim and Survive swimming and water safety program and enjoy events like the Spirit Carnival we hope to see them lead a generational change, learning skills to become the future lifesavers in remote and regional WA.” 

If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of Swim and Survive Programs in our communities, visit the link below. 

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