Around 1,500 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 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.
“Water Safety New Zealand is very pleased to be funding the rollout of Water Skills for Life by Dash Swim School into low decile Porirua schools,” says CEO Jonty Mills.
“This initiative is all about teaching broader fundamental aquatic skills to 5–13-year-olds, so they are equipped for life-long water safety."
Mills says New Zealand’s drowning toll is too high, almost double the Australian drowning rate.
“International research has shown us that one of the most effective ways to bring our high drowning toll down is through teaching core safety skills before focusing on stroke and distance,” he says.
“This will then flow into safer and wider participation in water-based activities, providing students with the knowledge they need to enjoy our pools, beaches, lakes and rivers with confidence.”
Dash will use the $30,000 funding to deliver the programme to low decile schools at a reduced rate.
Lessons cost $3.50 per child per school, but the schools will now pay a contribution of just $1 per student, with the rest covered by the funding.
Ngati Toa School will be the first local school to be taught the programme this year and as they have their own pool they are getting the lessons for free.
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.
“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.”
For enquiries, contact: Hannah Henderson, Communications Advisor - Technical Porirua City Council, +64 4 237 5089 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Ben Christie – Water Safety New Zealand on email@example.com