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Young Adults Learn To Swim For the First Time

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05/11/2018

Over 60 students from Launceston have been given the opportunity to learn how to swim at Launceston Aquatic Centre.

The students aged 13 -19 years, come from a diverse range of backgrounds and have not had the opportunity to learn how to swim prior to their arrival in Tasmania. Royal Life Saving Tasmania will conduct a 5 day swimming and water safety program to help students and young adults develop the skills and knowledge to be safe in, on and around the water.

The program was supported through SWIM MY WAY, a new initiative between Royal Life Saving Society and UNCLE TOBYS to get more Australian's swimming and active in the water.

Karina Siggins, Project and Programs Manager, Royal Life Saving Tasmania said, “Royal Life Saving believes that every person has the right to learn basic swimming, water safety, and lifesaving skills. SWIM MY WAY gives us the ability to run more programs throughout the country.”

“Playing in backyard swimming pools, picnics by the river, and splashing around at the beach are very much a part of everyday life in Australia. We want everyone to be able to enjoy our beautiful waterways and stay safe wherever they are.”

Royal Life Saving research has found the people in our communities who are most likely to miss out on formal swimming and water safety education are those who are indigenous, from a culturally or linguistically diverse background, from a low socio-economic community, live in a regional or remote area, are newly arrived in Australia, or are living with a disability.

Sally Duay, Manager of English as an Additional Language Program said, “Swimming and water safety lessons are not just a valuable life-skill, for people newly arrived to Australia it’s such an important part of being socially included. Being able to swim and safely recreate around water opens up many new opportunities. We are delighted that our students have been provided the opportunity to participate in this program”.

A staggering 249 people drowned in Australia between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. One quarter of all drowning deaths occurred when swimming and recreating.

“Students are taught a range of skills for different aquatic environments including personal survival skills such as floating and sculling, learning to identify hazards in different environments, and how to avoid these hazards to stay safe,” said Karina Siggins, Project and Programs Manager, Royal Life Saving Tasmania.

Click here to find out more about SWIM MY WAY and to get involved.