Women undertake water safety program
A group of Peninsula women with "culturally and linguistically diverse" backgrounds have undertaken swimming and water safety program at the Peninsula Leisure Centre.
Central Coast Council provided a grant of $11,850 to Royal Life Saving NSW to run a 10-week swimming and water safety program for two of the women who undertook the lessons.
Royal Life Saving NSW regional manager Ms Tanya Brunckhorst said the number of new migrants unable to swim was high in comparison to other Australians, and many were unaware of the importance of water safety.
"In 2016-17, 93 people drowned in NSW, which is more than any other state or territory," Ms Brunckhorst said.
She said that in each lesson "participants learnt basic swimming and survival techniques including floating, movement skills, basic rescues and stroke development".
Ms Brunckhorst said the women ranged in age from their 20s to 60s and most were non-swimmers or had very limited ability at the beginning of the course.
"What we found was that most of the women would stay back after their lessons to practice their new skills so there was definitely a massive improvement from day one to the end of the course," she said.
"The women also enjoyed the social engagement," she said.
She said she hoped the program would encourage them to enrol their children in learn-to-swim classes.
Ms Brunckhorst said it was the first time Royal Life Saving NSW had obtained the funding through Central Coast Council.
Mayor Cr Jane Smith said community safety was a key priority for Council.
"Council is proud to be able to help fund projects which enable residents to participate in an active lifestyle," Mayor Smith said.
"The newly acquired skills and water confidence will equip the participants in this program with the ability to enjoy the Coast's many waterways, leisure centres and backyard pools."
Media release, 6 Sep 2018
Jane Smith, Central Coast Council
Interview, 6 Sep 2018
Tanya Brunkhorst, Royal Life Saving NSW
Reporter: Jackie Pearson