Swim school boosted by Wa­ter Safety fund

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT -

About 1500 Porirua chil­dren will be taught essen­tial wa­ter safety skills by Dash Swim School thanks to fund­ing from Wa­ter Safety New Zealand.

Dash is one of the first swim schools to re­ceive $30,000 in fund­ing for Wa­ter Safety New Zealand’s new pro­gramme Wa­ter Skills for Life, which takes a new ap­proach to keep­ing young peo­ple safe in the wa­ter.

‘‘This ini­tia­tive is all about teach­ing broader fun­da­men­tal aquatic skills to 5-to-13-yearolds, so they are equipped for life-long wa­ter safety,’’ said Wa­ter Safety New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Jonty Mills.

New Zealand’s drown­ing toll was too high, al­most dou­ble the Aus­tralian rate, he said.

‘‘In­ter­na­tional re­search has shown that one way to bring our high drown­ing toll down is through teach­ing core safety skills be­fore fo­cus­ing on stroke and dis­tance.

‘‘This will then flow into safer and wider par­tic­i­pa­tion in wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties, pro­vid­ing stu­dents with what they need to en­joy our pools, beaches, lakes and rivers with con­fi­dence.’’

The coun­cil-run swim school will use the fund­ing to de­liver the pro­gramme to low decile schools at a re­duced rate.

Lessons nor­mally cost $3.50 per child per school, but the schools will now pay a con­tri­bu­tion of just $1 per child.

Ngati Toa School will be the first Porirua school to be taught the pro­gramme this year and as they have their own pool they are get­ting the lessons for free.

Porirua mayor Mike Tana said the fund­ing was a great boost for Porirua’s young peo­ple.

‘‘These are ab­so­lutely vi­tal life skills that ev­ery child should get the chance to learn, and this fund­ing means we can ex­tend our reach to more chil­dren than ever,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re lucky in Porirua to have Dash Swim School, which con­tin­ues to be a leader in aquatic ed­u­ca­tion, so our chil­dren are some of the first to get ac­cess to this new pro­gramme.

‘‘This is so im­por­tant, as the sea and har­bour are an in­te­gral part of our beau­ti­ful city.’’

PHOTO: AN­DREW GOR­RIE

Porirua chil­dren will learn to be con­fi­dent in the wa­ter thanks to fund­ing from Wa­ter Safety New Zealand.

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