Georges River Council, in partnership with BlueFit Swimming, is trialing a free Learn to Swim program for 60 local primary school students at the Hurstville Aquatic Centre.
Georges River Councillor Warren Tegg, who proposed the trial in May 2018, said the trial program includes older students from selected primary schools with the highest number of students who cannot swim.
“Swimming lessons are not mandatory in Australia for children and it is a concern that thousands of kids don’t have access to lessons, for a range of reasons, including cost,” he said.
“I believe all children should have the opportunity to learn to swim, and as such, I am delighted that Bluefit has agreed to offer free lessons.
“Learning how to swim is a great way to improve the safety of your loved ones and programs such as this have the potential to save lives in the future.”
Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene welcomed the initiative, agreeing that it is an excellent opportunity for local children to gain water skills.
“Water safety awareness is of critical importance to people of all ages,” he said.
“Sadly, drowning is one of the major causes of death for NSW children under the age of five, many in backyard swimming pools.
“As Australian summers are based around sunshine and swimming, it is essential for our local children to be confident in and around water.”
The trial will run for four weeks and the outcomes will be reported back to Council in September.
For more information, please visit www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or call 9330 6400.