National Drowning Report a timely reminder of swim safety this summer

It's a timely reminder to be safe when in the water.

The 2018-19 National Drowning Report reveals 98 of drownings in NSW included six children younger than 18 years of age - an overall 20 per cent increase from the previous year.

A total of 276 deaths were recorded in that period.

The report also showed that very few teenagers enrolled in swimming lessons are achieving the minimum competencies outlined in the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework.

Majority of NSW drownings occurred in rivers, creeks and dams, followed by beaches.

The federal government has committed $36.1 million in the Water and Snow Safety Program for water safety initiatives by trusted organisations including Surf Life Saving Australia, Royal Life Saving Society Australia, AUSTSWIM and Laurie Lawrence Swimming Enterprises.

It also this month announced new swimming grants being delivered to enable or improve opportunities for people with disabilities and from diverse backgrounds learn more about swimming.

Working in partnership with Swimming Australia, the Community Swimming Grants Program allows organisations the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $10,000 and has been delivered as part of the government's $28.9 million Move It AUS - Participation Grants Program.

Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck says the initiative aims to make swimming as accessible as possible so more Australians could benefit from sport and physical activity.

"Swimming is a hugely popular sport in Australia, and the great thing about swimming is that it can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, at every stage of life," he said.

"Supporting more Australians to get more active more often is a priority for our government and we're delighted to be working with Swimming Australia to deliver greater access to swimming and aquatic activities for up to 3200 people through this program.

"Within this program, grants may be used to subsidise the costs associated with delivering swimming and aquatics activities such as entry fees, lane hire or membership fees.

"The Morrison Government's Sport 2030 plan is to make Australia the world's most active and healthy nation. To do that, we need to break down the barriers that limit Australians from being more active."

Swimming Australia's Chief of Sport Performance, Matthew Kennedy, says it is fantastic to be able to offer the grants through the Move it AUS campaign.

"We are aiming to increase physical activity and remove barriers to participation that will assist in getting more Australian's moving," he said.

"These barriers can include cost, transport and language and cultural differences.

"We know physical activity delivers a range of physical and mental health benefits and has a positive flow on effect within communities."

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