SwimMagic Teaching Vital Water Safety Sessions These Holidays.
19 January 2016
Nelson holiday program teaches vital water safety lessons
A school holiday programme in Nelson is teaching kids about how to be safe in the water to help prevent accidents and drownings in the region.
Treading water, swimming in lifejackets and learning about river safety are mixed in with kayaking, snorkelling and playing flipper ball during the week long programme.
SwimMagic co-ordinator Lisa Stove said the aim of the Wet and Wild Challenge was to teach kids a range of water skills and how to stay safe in different situations.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ
Ben Houston, 11, leaps into the deep end at the Wet & Wild Challenge at the Richmond aquatic Centre on Monday
Stove is passionate about educating kids on water safety and having them pass that knowledge onto others.
The programme had been developed in conjunction with Water Safety New Zealand and Stove said she wanted it to make an impact in the community and reduce the number of accidents that occurred in the water, especially during summer.
"We are giving them really hard messages," he said. "If a skipper tells you to get on that boat and there is no lifejacket for you, you are not to get on it, saying those sort of things."
The kids also get a chance to put their swimming skills to the test by completing the aquatic part of the police test which involves a timed 50 metre swim, treading water for five minutes and picking up a simulated body, which is a bucket full of bricks, off the floor of the pool.
"My role in co-ordinating the swim school is making sure that we are teaching some life skills rather than just how to learn to swim," she said.
Xanthe Wardle, 13, said she had been learning about how to correctly wear a lifejacket and was putting it to the test by jumping into the wave pool at the Richmond Aquatic Centre.
"If its too big, it pulls up easily and it will come up over your head," she said. "We did huddles and one of those snake things incase we were stuck in an ocean."
Wardle was also looking forward to the snorkelling and treading water, but the best part of the first day had been "doing bombs".
The Wet and Wild challenge is funded by the break-away school holiday programme by Sport Southland.
It is free for kids aged 11 to 17 years old and the week long course and after this week, will run for another two weeks at the Richmond Aquatic Centre.
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Last updated 09:54, January 12 2016