HARDA ran our fifth successful Swim, Survive and Socialise Program at the Aquatic Safety and Training Academy (ASTA) at Seven Hills during the Easter school holidays, from April 7 –April 17, 2015. Normally only for children between the ages of 7-11, the program was expanded this year to also include youth aged 12-17. Over 50 children and youth were provided with the opportunity to learn water safety and survival techniques as well as how to swim, whilst participating in an activity which is enjoyable, healthy and part of the Australian way of life.
The kids attended one of two 45-minute sessions over a period two weeks. ASTA was specifically chosen because their Swim and Water Safety program (an initiative developed by Royal Life Saving Australia) encompassed water safety taught by fully trained instructors at a specially built swimming venue at Seven Hills (rather than just teaching swimming). The venue has a large shallow warm pool for beginners, as well as a deeper cooler one for the kids when they have progressed sufficiently. It is also a great venue as it is v self-contained with everything inside and close to hand with a good area for waiting parents to chat while watching their children. This social interaction is an important spin-off benefit of the program, allowing women (and men) to interact & enjoy a sense of community in a safe and secure environment.
As our HARDA Project Manager Fiona Carr said: “As always, the kids had lots of fun, enjoyed the classes and went home with a new important and potentially life-saving skill.”