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VACSWIM enrolment surge to help reduce drownings this summer

VACSWIM enrolment surge to help reduce drownings this summer

Summer is here and VACSWIM has officially launched the 2020/21 campaign, with more than 10,000 enrolments to date.

Kyle Chalmers VACSWIM

With COVID travel restrictions in place and more South Australians holidaying at home this year, this could be the largest VACSWIM program ever rolled out across the state.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard, said the Marshall Government is proud to fund the water safety and survival initiative, providing children with valuable aquatic knowledge.

“The VACSWIM program has been running as a unique summer holidays experience in South Australia for more than 60 years, teaching thousands of young people how to be safe in and around the water,” Minister Wingard said.

“Not only do children learn essential life-long skills but it also provides a fantastic opportunity to be active, which aligns with our Game On initiative to get South Australians moving.

Olympic champion and VACSWIM ambassador Kyle Chalmers said he was delighted to see a big jump in numbers and how much of an impact this program has across the state.

“This is really inspiring to see so many parents getting behind this significant aquatic safety program designed to save lives,” Mr Chalmers said.

“Earlier this year I visited a beach and pool program in action and it was great to see the range of content covered by VACSWIM – not just learning to swim but also essential water safety procedures and rescue skills.”

VACSWIM is a week-long aquatic safety program (not just a learn-to-swim program) that aims to teach children aged 5 – 13 years vital water safety and survival techniques that could save lives this summer.

Skills learnt include first aid, entering and exiting the water correctly, pool or surf and sun safety and what a child can do if they find themselves in trouble.

With swimming pools, beaches and the river a huge part of the South Australian summer school holidays, ensuring children can swim confidently
and safely is a must for families.

“I’m so happy to be the VACSWIM SA Ambassador for the second year and if being a part of this program can help prevent drownings and encourage more kids to enjoy the water then that’s an awesome thing,” Mr Chalmers said.

“As an Aussie kid it’s important to be confident around water.”

VACSWIM is described as the best value for money aquatic safety holiday program with individual program enrolment fees starting at $30 per participant.

The two largest providers, Royal Life Saving and Surf Life Saving SA are both delighted with the response so far with some program locations at capacity

12,000 primary school aged children are expected to enrol at 120 beach and pool locations across South Australia with the support of Surf Life Saving SA, Royal Life Saving SA, YMCA and a number of independent providers.

The majority of 2021 programs take place from Monday 4 to Tuesday 12 January 2021, and in light of the release from lockdown imposed we are delighted to confirm the December regional pool programs will go ahead from 14 December.

Online enrolments for January programs are open now and will close on Sunday 20 December. However, Royal Life Saving locations (majority of pools) will be closing on Sunday 27 December.

To find out more and to register, families can log onto www.vacswimsa.com.au

VACSWIM is proudly supported by the Government of South Australia through the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing (ORSR). Other partners include Life. Be In It, Channel Nine, Nova 919, Enventive, and PPI Promotion and Apparel.