FEBRUARY 2018 | Joanne Eisemann
IT’S COMMONPLACE to hear of deaths by drowning but a little more difficult to calculate the lives saved by programs such as Deloraine Rotary’s Learn to Swim program.
The program is offered free to participants and has been running for over 35 years. The $4,000 price tag is largely financed by Craft Fair takings.
Lois Catchlove, Chair of Rotary’s Youth Services Committee enjoys watching changes children make during the program. “At the end of that half an hour you could see that he had gained confidence and was less anxious,” he says commenting on one young boy she had been following the progress of.
Drowning remains one of the leading causes of preventable death in children, so water safety has always been a strong focus of the program.
Rotary’s information sheet says ‘It was established to teach children to swim in the hope that it would help reduce death by drowning.’
It’s not just for little kids either. This year, 85 children aged from 5 to 17 years attended from all over Meander Valley and even a few came from beyond.
Parents are obviously appreciative. a photo of the program posted on Meander Valley Gazette’s Facebook page drew amongst others, these comments;
“They do an amazing job. A couple of weeks ago my 7 year old got herself in trouble in a pool and almost drowned. Lucky I had eyes on her and got to her quickly. This week I watched her swim a lap across the deep end,” said Leanne Turner. Jade Hallam shared “I’m really thankful for this learn to swim course, my kids have loved every minute and are improving each day. Thanks Rotary.”
Enrolments for the next course will be taken in December. Look out for flyers and notifications in school newsletters.
Photo | Mike Moores