In a heartwarming partnership, Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre and Whitlam Leisure Centre have joined hands with Afghan Women on the Move to make swimming lessons accessible and empower Afghan women with life-saving swimming skills. Afghan Women on the Move is an organisation dedicated to supporting the health, mental wellbeing, and personal development of Afghan and diverse women in Australia.
The team at Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool, NSW, have collaborated with the women’s only group to deliver a learn-to-swim program that commenced in March this year. The learn to swim program at Whitlam is actively supported by the Belgravia Foundation, subsidising lessons for participants to assist in removing as many barriers as possible to ensure all participants from Afghan Women on the Move can reap the rewards of learning the life skill of swimming. The learn-to-swim program runs for 12 weeks, with participants learning basic life-saving skills, swimming techniques and key water safety components.
The collaboration with Afghan Women on the Move originally commenced at Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre in November 2022, where a successful 10-week learn-to-swim program took place, with up to 50 women registering to participate.
At Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre, these lessons were held in a curtained swimming pool, with female lifeguards and female learn-to-swim teachers. Similarly, Whitlam Leisure Centre held the program in a public 25-meters indoor pool, with female learn-to-swim teachers.
Many women participating in the learn-to-swim program, lived previously in a land-locked country and did not have an opportunity to learn to swim. The program for Afghan Women on the Move provides a safe, welcoming place for the women’s group to socially connect and distracts them from the trauma they have been through, encouraging the participants to embrace their new life.
The program attracted NSW Governor Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, and featured on Channel 9 News, highlighting the important work Afghan Women on the Move has done for women who have been displaced since the Taliban took over their region and the importance of connecting all to leisure in Australia and New Zealand.
This remarkable collaboration between Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre, Whitlam Leisure Centre, and Afghan Women on the Move showcases the power of community, inclusion, and the positive impact of coming together to make a difference. As we continue to support one another and break down barriers, we impart essential life skills and foster connections, resilience, and a brighter future for all.
Learn more about Afghan Women on the Move on their website.