Kids get into Spirit of safety

19 November 2015

Royal Life Saving Society WA visited Hedland earlier this month to promote water safety awareness.

Held at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre on November 10, the group's Spirit Carnival brought together 100 children from Tom Price, Marble Bar, Yandeyarra and South Hedland who took the chance to showcase their swimming and lifesaving skills.

The event comes as recent data revealed children in regional and remote areas of WA were five times more likely to drown than those in the Perth metropolitan area.

It also found that between 2003 and 2013, 28 per cent of drowning deaths in the 5-14 year age group involved Aboriginal children.

Royal Life Saving Society WA senior manager swimming and water safety education Trent Hotchkin said training children to swim not only helped save their own lives but also future lives. "Our desire is to see these children lead a generational change in their communities, learning skills to become the future lifesavers in remote and regional WA, and encouraging all community members to develop lifesaving swimming skills," he said.

Swimming WA chief executive officer Darren Beazley said his group's aim was to ensure every West Australian had the opportunity to learn to swim and join a swimming club. "Swimming is an activity that brings communities together - and can be enjoyed at all stages of life," he said.

"It's genuinely thrilling to see the enjoyment that events like this bring to kids in the most remote areas of our state."

Children attending the Spirit Carnival took part in swimming races, traditional boat races and lifesaving activities before tucking into a barbecue lunch.

Article and image courtesy North West Telegraph, reporter Ben Leahy.