VacSwim Program Since 1919 Still Going Strong

VacSwim Program Since 1919 Still Going Strong

Western Australia Acting Minister for Education Terry Redman

More Than 56,000 WA Children Learn To Swim Safely This Summer

Victor P Taffa

More than 56,000 West Australian Children will learn essential water safety skills this summer as part of the Department of Education’s VacSwim Program.

Enrolments have increased by 4,000 children this year, taking the number of WA Children to have participated in the program to more than 500,000 in the past decade alone.

Last year, more than 52,000 children took part in the program, which runs during the October and January school holidays at more than 200 beach and pool locations across the State.

Recognising the success and importance of VacSwim today, Acting Minister for Education Terry Redman said it was encouraging that the popularity of VacSwim continued to grow as parents increasingly recognised the importance of water safety.

“VacSwim, which caters for children aged over five years and for all levels from beginner to advanced survival, rescue and resuscitation, has become one of the largest and most popular vacation swimming programs in Australia.” Mr. Redman said.

“This season celebrates 92 years of the program operating, having grown from its beginnings in 1919 when five instructors taught 248 children at just three venues.”

“We are so lucky in WA to have such beautiful beaches and access to high quality public swimming centres, but this means we also have a responsibility to teach our children how to swim and how to stay safe in the water, which undoubtedly saves lives.” Mr. Redman said.

“Increasingly, children with English as a second language and those from land-locked countries are also learning how to swim safely.”

The Minister said the summer holiday program provided the perfect opportunity to teach children invaluable lifelong skills.

Statistics from the Royal Life Saving Society WA found one child aged between six and 14 drowned last year.

VacSwim offers families an affordable way to learn to swim for just $1 a day plus pool entry. Limited late enrolments may be available at some centres.