2024 Swim, Survive and Socialize Program Update

Harda is pleased to report that this year’s Swim, Survive and Socialize program was very successful. Nearly 100 kids participated (97 children aged 5-15), with slightly more boys than girls attending this year. Participants were primarily from South Sudanese backgrounds but also included those with Sudanese, Somali, and Ethiopian and a few other CALD backgrounds. The program provided them with the opportunity to learn water safety and survival techniques as well as swimming lessons. It was great to see our participants learning and enjoying an activity that is part of the Australian way of life.

The Program was held, as always, at the Royal Lifesaving facility, the Aquatic Safety Training Academy (ASTA) in Seven Hills and ran during the last two weeks of the school holidays from Monday, 15 January to Thursday, 25 January 2024. The program ran daily over the two weeks from 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. and consisted of four 45-minute sessions. This also provided parents with a break and a nice venue to meet and socialize while their kids burned off their energy in the pool. The parents spent one of the sessions learning CPR and pool safety, empowering them and enhancing their communities’ safety.

The kids had a great deal of fun. All of them made great progress in their swimming and water safety skills and each received a certificate of accomplishment (as well as lollies and fruit!) at the conclusion of the program. We receive a report from the pool detailing each child’s level at completion of the program, allowing us to track their progress.

We are happy to continue to hear reports of kids having their bags packed for swimming many days in advance, waking parents early in the morning in anticipation of swimming later that day, and being very excited to attend the activity. They benefited from the exercise and activity and the parents were happy that they were learning swimming and water safety in a safe and secure environment.