The official SwimSafe 2010 season has come to an end in Danang, with the program reaching more than 4,600 children with survival swimming training this year. Throughout the summer and in an after school program once class resumed in September, children attended a series of 20 SwimSafe lessons which taught them the basics of survival swimming and rescue. Students were trained in portable swimming pools set up on school grounds, a hospital rehabilitation pool or at the beach.
Their instructors were again their teachers or beach lifeguards, many of whom returned from the 2009 SwimSafe season, but also with a number of new recruits. Trainers from Royal Life Saving Society – Australia made two visits to Danang this year, resulting in the certification of nine local instructor trainers who are now qualified to certify new instructors themselves. This is a great achievement and an important step for the Danang community in working towards local management of the program.
SwimSafe continued to work very closely with the Danang Department of Education & Training, but the emphasis in 2010 was on management of classes taking place at individual school venues, with school principals taking a leading role. Support for SwimSafe among the Danang community – schools, teachers, families – is very strong and growing.
SwimSafe Danang will continue to be supported by AusAID in 2011. In May the international drowning prevention community will turn its eyes to Danang as RLSSA and TASC host the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2011.
Close to 10,000 children have been trained in survival swimming since SwimSafe Danang began in 2009. These children are now familiar with the water and have developed skills to help keep them safe in the water. In a country where more than 11,000 children die each year from drowning, this is a very significant achievement.