In the wake of a tragic increase in drownings in 2022, Belgravia Leisure and partners want more people to develop life-saving skills.
Belgravia Leisure’s VIC/TAS Regional Manager, Kara Monaghan was at Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre on Tuesday to help share information about being water safe.
Having been involved in the aquatic field since 1998, Kara is passionate about saving lives and getting people involved in swimming. Kara urged parents to ensure they and their children have the water safety skills required ahead of summer.
“Particularly Victoria, off the back of COVID, so much of the industry was shut and so therefore nationally, there were about 10 million swimming lessons missed,” Kara said.
“Royal Life Saving Australia produces a national drowning report each year and in the 2022 report, there was a 15 per cent increase in drownings Australia-wide compared to the year before, and a 24 per cent increase on the 10-year average.
“We run what’s called GOswim swimming lessons. We have a weekly program for kids to do swimming lessons here, but not only that, we’ve got lessons for adults, for youth, for women, and also for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and we’re also running lessons for schools.”
Kara said it is important to learn to swim to be able to enjoy water everywhere. “Access and inclusion lessons help to reduce barriers, so someone from a diverse cultural background that’s an adult may not want to swim with kids but be in an adult program,” she said.
“It’s really important that people can feel comfortable coming to a lesson that specifically caters for them. Lots of drownings happen in open water, in waterways and rivers, so swimming lessons and making sure people are confident in all sorts of bodies of water is incredibly important.”
Find your nearest GOswim location here.
Article by Lucy Williams, Bendigo Advertiser, Bendigo.