The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) has received the Partnerships Award at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) Annual Presentation of Awards (APA) for their part in the joint delivery of an innovative free programme to equip children with the skills to swim safely in open water.
The Swim Safe programme is designed to deliver hands-on open water swimming and safety advice to children through lessons with ASA-qualified swimming teachers, as well as water safety sessions with RNLI lifeguards.
“While swimming in a pool is a great way of building confidence and technique, open water swimming comes with its own challenges and dangers,” says a spokesperson for the RNLI.
The free sessions for children aged 7-14 equip them with the techniques and confidence to stay safe in the sea, in lakes and in rivers. So far, more than 6,000 children have learnt about safe swimming in open water in the last two years of the campaign, and the 2015 programme is expected to reach over 12,500 young people.
Pip Hare, Community Safety Product Manager with RNLI says: “The ASA and the RNLI share the same vision that every child should have access to a scheme like Swim Safe. ASA and RNLI teachers, lifeguards and volunteers have effectively worked alongside each other over the last two summers to deliver a fantastic programme to keep children safe in and around open water. “
The ASA also sits on the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) and is working closely with the RNLI to help align water safety programmes and safety messaging across the UK which will help the RNLI to achieve their target of reducing coastal drownings by 50%.
Adam Paker, ASA Chief Executive, says: “Swim Safe is an incredibly important campaign that each year teaches thousands of young people how to be safe in and around open water. Our work with the NWSF underlines our shared desire to prevent unnecessary deaths by stressing the importance of essential water safety awareness in young people and their parents.”
Swim Safe 2015
Free Swim Safe sessions will be held this year at the following locations:
• Coastal Activity Park, Boscombe Beach, Bournemouth: 25 July – 13 August (each day except Fridays)
• Sandhaven Beach, South Shields: 20 July – 8 August (every day except Sundays)
• Brockhole, Lake District: 18 July – 7 August (every day except Wednesdays)
• Bude Sea Pool, Bude: 20 July – 19 August (Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays only)
• Isle of Man and Jersey Marine Pool are also planning summer sessions with dates to be confirmed.
Several of these locations will also run a special week during the end of school term time especially for schools.