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 children 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.
People living in Cessnock have access to a number of water ways for a variety of recreational and day to day activities, therefore it really is vital that all youth have the same opportunity to access swimming and water safety programs to know how to swim and survive. Through the Club Grants program, Royal Life Saving received funding from East Cessnock Bowling Club to offer at-risk school aged students in Cessnock an opportunity to learn vital swimming and survival skills, through a school holiday intensive program, while connecting with other youth. Participants for this program were sourced from local community groups who work directly with at-risk and disadvantaged youth including the Smith Family and local schools. The program was open to culturally diverse and Indigenous youth as well.
Lessons were conducted at Kurri Kurri Aquatic and Fitness Centre through collaboration with the team at Belgravia Leisure during the recent April school holidays. 30 students engaged in a 10 lesson learn to swim program, developing foundational swimming skills and water safety awareness along with a sense of achievement through completion of the program.
We greatly appreciate the ongoing support of our Club Grants partners 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.