CALD students dip their toes into water safety

TWENTY-SIX newly arrived students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds have jumped into a one-week swimming course to improve their water safety skills.

The ‘Move it AUS’ program, delivered through Royal Life Saving Australia, took place at the Collegiate Pool late last month and saw the students develop their practical skills and knowledge on how to stay safe in and around water.

The program provides an opportunity for participants to gain a greater understanding of the importance of being active, while encouraging them to embrace swimming.

The program supports at-risk groups, including indigenous families, CALD communities and children from remote or low-income families.

The students, aged between 12 and 16, study at Cosgrove and New Town high schools and have been in Australia from two months to two years, having moved for humanitarian reasons.

Originally from various countries in Africa and Asia, including Ethiopia, Sudan, Nepal, Iran and Afghanistan, many of them had never had the opportunity to learn how to swim or received any water safety education before arriving in Tasmania.

Royal Life Saving Tasmania project and programs manager Karina Siggins said aquatic recreation was part of the very fabric of Australian life.

“As new arrivals, many of the students taking part have not had the opportunities we take for granted and are dipping their toes into water for the very first time,” she said.

“With the help of staff at Collegiate Pool in Hobart, this program gives them the chance to learn key life skills and water safety knowledge to help prepare them for their new lives in Australia.”

Move It AUS is Sport Australia’s national awareness campaign that encourages every Australian to get physically active for at least 30 minutes (for adults) or 60 minutes (for children) each day.

Move It AUS Participation Grants provide support to get Australians moving, and improve their physical and mental health.

Caption: Recently arrived culturally and linguistically diverse students jumped into water safety training at Collegiate Pool as part of the ‘Move It AUS’ program. Photo credit: Peter Whyte Photography.

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