Help Children Swim Safe with free water safety sessions in Sandown, Isle of Wight
Children aged 7-14 on the Isle of Wight will be able to learn vital safety skills for free, as Swim England and the RNLI’s Swim Safe programme returns to Sandown on weekdays from 29th July to 16th August.
The fun, hour-long sessions teach young people how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they, or someone else, get into difficulty in the water.
Swim England and the RNLI have again partnered with the Isle of Wight Lifeboat Board Board and IOW Council to run Swim Safe at Culver Parade, Sandown
Children must be aged between 7 and 14 and able to swim 25 metres unaided to take part.
Sessions are run by qualified swimming instructors and lifeguards, supported by a team of volunteers. They include:
Open water safety advice provided on land
Up to 30 minutes of practical, in-water tuition with qualified instructors
A free Swim Safe key-ring, certificate and swim hat to take home
All the kit to take part, including wet suits, swim hats and floatation equipment, is provided for the sessions. Children only need bring their swim suit and a towel.
Roger Matthews, co-ordinator for the Isle of Wight Lifeboat Board says:
‘Children love swimming outdoors, but it’s very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn to swim.’
‘It’s essential that children learn where it is safe to swim, how to stay safe and what to do if they get into trouble.’
‘We want all children to have access to this training, so all Swim Safe sessions are free’
‘In 2018 the Isle of Wight Lifeboat Board achieved a strategic ambition to bring Swim Safe to the Island. Over 1,6000 children attended including nearly 500 Island schoolchildren through dedicated sessions co-ordinated through the IOW Council’s Sports Development Officer.’
Despite it being our first year, Sandown gained the “Best Overall Site” Award.
Swim England and the RNLI created Swim Safe in 2013 with a single activity at Bude in Cornwall. Having grown year on year, in 2019 Swim Safe will be running on 36 beach and inland water locations across England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The programme aims to support the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy’s aim of reducing accidental drowning by 50% by 2026.
For more information about Swim Safe, visit www.swimsafe.org.uk