In response to the spate of migrant drownings last Christmas, Canterbury League Club banded together with City of Canterbury-Bankstown Council and Royal Life Saving NSW to deliver a new swim survival program to local primary schools.
The pilot program, called Canterbury Aquatic Survival Skills Project, engaged 306 Year 4 students from seven schools including Campsie Public School, Lakemba Public School, Wiley Park Public School, Croydon Park Public School, Canterbury Public School, Penshurst Public School and Wangee Park School.
The first part of the program involved a pool session where students received hands-on experience with accredited swim instructors and learned how to do safe entry/exits, bubbles, floating, torpedo swim and remaining calm while submerged in water.
This practical pool session was followed up by a water safety presentation at school where students learned about hazards at the beach, rivers, lakes and pools, how to spot danger and how to be water smart. Students also got the chance to try on life jackets and practice pool noodle rescues with their peers.
“We have a lot of students who are non-swimmers so this is an excellent opportunity for them to learn about water safety. It’s a fabulous program, more schools should get involved,” said Teresa Kergis, teacher at Lakemba Public School.
“Canterbury identified this program as a high-need to our local community because the Canterbury-Bankstown region has a high migrant population – many migrants and their families may not have had as much exposure to bodies of water and the hidden dangers. We are lucky to have many beautiful beaches and rivers in Australia however with that comes the responsibility of being water smart and safe,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.
“This program is aimed at getting more children into the water to practice and familiarise themselves so that they’ll be more likely to remain calm in event of an emergency situation. Christmas is just around the corner and as the weather heats up, families naturally gravitate to the water to try and cool down.”
Expressions of interests from local primary schools are now being accepted for the 2018 survival swim program. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.