Swimming Australia’s national swim program that aims to encourage all kids to make a splash and improve their skills in the water has just signed up one more special member, Yampu - the official mascot of Optus Junior Dolphins.
Nine-year-old Optus Junior Dolphin Ayanna Burgan-Minniecon is the young brainchild behind the name Yampu - pronounced ‘Yam-boo’ - whom she has decided is a boy.
Ayanna entered Yampu into Swimming Australia’s national competition open to members of the program to decide upon a name for the dolphin mascot. Yampu is the Kaurna word for ‘dolphin’, and Kaurna is the traditional language of the Kaurna people whose traditional lands include the Adelaide Plains of South Australia.
Ayanna won herself and her family a holiday to Tangalooma Island to meet dolphins in the wild as a reward for her successful entry on behalf of Optus.
The Optus Junior Dolphins program puts the fun back into swimming and encourages young swimmers to continue enjoying time in the pool after they’ve learnt the basics. The program is run by over 650 swimming clubs Australia-wide and over 15,000 kids are officially signed up.
Swimming Australia General Manager of Participation and Sport Development, Paul Malcolm stated, “We are very excited to announce Yampu, the name of the Optus Junior Dolphins mascot. Yampu represents the diversity of Swimming Australia and in particular the Optus Junior Dolphins program which is open to all children, no matter their skill or ability level.
“There is something unique about swimming that separates it from all other sports. There are no age barriers, no gender barriers, no ability barriers - anyone can be a swimmer. Swimming Australia and the Optus Junior Dolphins program wants to inspire all Australians to be the swimmer they want to be.”
The Optus Junior Dolphins program keeps children active, allows them to have fun with their friends and improve their swimming skills in a safe and non-competitive environment and is accessible via swim schools, swimming clubs and primary schools across the country.
Optus supports Swimming Australia from grassroots right through to the elite and is positively impacting participation rates in the sport. Optus is a principal sponsor of Swimming Australia and is the naming rights partner of the junior program.
Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK) is the leading group dedicated to Kaurna language revitalisation and maintenance and have granted Swimming Australia cultural consent to use ‘Yampu’ as their mascot name. Swimming Australia is dedicated to championing inclusivity in the sport through building a connection with Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi and the wider Indigenous community.