Swim school boosted by Water Safety fund
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.’’
Porirua children will learn to be confident in the water thanks to funding from Water Safety New Zealand.