The peak industry body for 600 swim schools and the national authority on teaching swimming and water safety, Swim Australia is in the midst of holding its annual SwimSAFER Week ending 22 November.
Nearly 500 registered swim schools will participate in the campaign and coordinate educational activities for students to gain vital water safety skills. Swim Australia advocates that swimming year-round, learning and abiding by vital water safety skills, and participating in the SwimSAFER Week will not only help kids become safer, smarter and stronger in the water, but in everyday life as well.
As part of the SwimSAFER week, Swim Australia have introduced a charitable aspect to their annual campaign entitled ‘Swim it Forward’. The concept of Swim It Forward is to help children in lower socio-economic backgrounds giving them access to swimming lessons.
The brainchild of Gary Toner, Executive Officer at Swim Australia, believed incorporating the added twist of the to the pay it forward concept would resonate with the swimming community, particularly given the duration many pools were closed, and lessons suspended during the lockdown in Victoria.
“A donation to Swim it Forward is not just a life-saving gift, it also opens up so many aquatic opportunities for each and every person gaining these essential swimming skills. We may even get our next Dawn Fraser, Ian Thorpe, Kieren Perkins, Susie O’Neill or Cate Campbell through this initiative,” said Brendon Ward Chief Executive Officer, ASTCA (Australian Swim Coaches & Teachers Association).
Research shows that 55% of Australian children are not currently in lessons, with affordability being identified as major roadblock. Learning to swim is one of the major preventative measures that parents can take to ensure their child’s safety around the water. Swim Australia's aim is to help more children receive this vital education. For just $20 (tax deductible) or the cost of one swimming lesson, Australian’s can help those most at risk of drowning
President of ASTCA, Joanne Love, and owner of Learn to Swim Victoria, is thrilled about the Swim It Forward concept.
“The campaign has already been inundated with enquiries both on how to donate as well as kind words from the recipients of this wonderful concept.”
Ms Love hopes that once the Swim It Forward concept is well established for children and adolescents, that adults who have never learnt to swim can be included in the funding.
SwimSAFER week is a great time to get reacquainted with the water, the weather is warmer, it is a perfect time to go for a swim or help someone learn a life saving skill.