Goldfields Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival

29 March 2021

Two Aboriginal boys in the pool at LeinsterThe 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. Royal Life Saving WA is working hard to address these statistics, by focusing attention on swimming and lifesaving programs for children in regional and remote areas.

Last Friday 26th March 2021 Royal Life Saving WA held its inaugural Goldfields Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival at the Leinster Town Pool. The carnival was made possible thanks to funding provided by Principal Community Partner BHP and saw around 60 children from Leinster and Leonora take part in swimming races, lifesaving activities and giveaways.A child holding a rope and wearing red swimming goggles

Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Swimming and Water Safety Education, Trent Hotchkin, says giving these children an opportunity to take part in these swimming and water safety programs is essential. “Learning to Swim and Survive is a vital life skill that all Western Australian children need to safely participate on, in and around water. Building swimming and water safety skills in young children is vital work and the single most important investment we can make as a community to prevent drowning.”

Western Australian drowning data shows that Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal drowning incident than non-Aboriginal children in our state. Overall, half of children who fatally drown were Aboriginal. Many of the children attending the carnival in Leinster come from Aboriginal families in the surrounding towns, so enabling them to engage in the Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive program is an important step as we work to help them build these vital skills and reduce their risk of drowning.

Two children in the pool using a rescue tubeThe day enabled the children to come together in a fun environment to participate in an interactive carnival encouraging physical activity and learning valuable lifesaving skills. Mr Hotchkin says the hope is that the children involved in this carnival will make a real difference in the future of their communities.

“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. We want to give these children the opportunity to not only learn skills to keep themselves safe while in, on and around water, but also to equip them to encourage all community members to develop lifesaving swimming skills.”

You can read more about our work in remote and regional Western Australia at the link below.

Explore more button