Royal Life Saving Aquatic Academy at Seven Hills recently concluded a 10-week Adult Learn to Swim program for 200 local CALD community members where English is their second language. The program was funded through Club Grants from Seven Hills Toongabbie RSL and co-contributed by Royal Life Saving NSW to ensure program participants received 10 x 45-minute lessons over the original 5 funded lessons.
All participants now have greater water awareness and skills because of this program including Ahmed Habib, 35 from Blacktown who said “The teacher is amazing. Annika taught me steps of swimming, logically and for the first time, I wasn’t short of breath or scared of the water. Definitely I want to continue the lessons.”
Another program participant Joe Ten Francis, 60 from Seven Hills commented “I joined the lessons as I wanted to improve my swimming skills. I think the lessons are quite enjoyable and I feel improvement in my swimming skill. I am planning to continue the lessons and buy more passes.”
This week we celebrate Refugee Week and the rich diversity of refugee communities. Swimming and aquatic recreation are part of the social fabric of Australian society. Therefore, the ability to swim is not only a vital life skill, but it also contributes to social inclusion and participation. Sadly, there are many people including our refugees and other CALD community members who miss out on the opportunity to learn to swim, putting them at an unfair and increased risk of drowning and aquatic related injury. 100 people in NSW lose their life to drowning each year, with many more lives significantly impacted as a result of non-fatal drowning.
We greatly appreciate the ongoing support of our Club Grants partners particularly Seven Hills Toongabbie RSL who continue to provide funding assistance to Royal Life Saving, allowing us the opportunity to deliver greater access to aquatic programs for various target groups.
Want to learn more about our many Multicultural programs visit Multicultural Programs | Royal Life Saving (drowningprevention.org.au).