It was last year while attending a school presentation day at the Old Guildford Public School in Sydney’s west that Greg Nairn, CSR lead for IMC’s Asia Pacific region, learnt that only four of its 400 students were able to safely participate in the school’s swimming activities.
Astonished that so many of the school’s young students were unable to swim, he set about finding a way to help.
And he did through the Royal Life Saving’s Swim and Survive Fund, a program designed to give children – who otherwise may not have the opportunity to learn them – critical water safety skills. This wonderful new initiative is the work of the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia and the IMC Pacific Foundation, which also supports the school’s kitchen garden program.
Kristal Grainger, senior project officer for education at the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, said:
“The Swim and Survive Fund Initiative provides opportunities for children to learn valuable water safety skills and knowledge to make safer informed decisions in and around the water. Participating also helps to build water confidence and encourages children and their parents to explore Australia’s unique aquatic environment as a family.”
With approximately 98% of the school’s students from non-English speaking backgrounds and originating from cultures where drowning prevention and lifesaving strategies are not common, the scheme will give students vital skills in swimming and water safety.
“The cost of swimming and water safety lessons is a key factor in determining access for many of our students,” says Kay Campbell, principal at Old Guildford Public School. “Our partnership with IMC Pacific Foundation and Royal Life Saving is an exciting opportunity to focus on addressing this significant and increasing gap in children missing out.”
Launched on May 11, the three-year Swim and Survive pilot program will see year two students at Old Guildford Public School attend classes at Dolphins Swim School at the Granville Swimming Centre. During their classes they will learn the practical skills and water safety knowledge to be safe in, on and around the water.
Greg Nairn adds:
“Swimming lessons are not just a valuable life-skill. For young people growing up in Australia, it’s such an important part of being socially included. It’s so amazing for IMC to be able to contribute such value to the lives and education of the students at Old Guildford Public School in this way”.
IMC consistently prove to be at the forefront of CSR and have played an incredible role as an early adopter of Benojo. We are proud to have forged a meaningful relationship with IMC and look forward to seeing the results of all of their hard work.
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