Our AMEP students in Ballarat recently enjoyed a water safety session at Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre. Many of our students can’t swim and have no familiarity with water. They don’t understand the potential dangers of the beach and swimming pool, can’t read the signs and they may also have children who will be at risk at a pool or beach.
Before the session, our students learned to read signs you might see at a pool in their classes. On the day the swim teachers took the students through water familiarisation and safety activities – including safe ways to rescue someone without getting into the water yourself.
Some of the students even arrived without a towel or swimming clothes, as they had not intended to get into the water. Of four students who had not wanted to, three eventually got into the water. One lady had a previous experience of getting into trouble in the water, so just getting in again was a huge achievement.
Many of the teachers from Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre had volunteered to be involved. According to Leanne White, the Aquatic Education Team Leader, “Our teachers really enjoyed the session. They found it very rewarding.”
I asked our student Koy what she thought of the day. “I have learned many things to protect myself from fatalities in waterways for example rescue people, life jacket , reduce when drown in water and basic swimming. I appreciate all who running this program because many new immigrants they can’t swim and protect them self.”
Thanks to Ballarat Community Health, Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council and staff at Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre for supporting and running the session.