During Drowning Prevention Week this year, June 19th to June 25th, Plas Menai, The National Outdoor Centre had the opportunity to collaborate with Byw’n iach and Plas Heli National Sailing Academy to provide Swimsafe sessions to some year 6 children in the Arfon and Dwyfor areas.
Swimsafe has been a popular scheme for children ages 7-14 for several years and it provides children the opportunity to learn about water safety by taking part in open water swimming lessons. As there are a high number of rescue incidents in open waters each year and Gwynedd has an extensive coastline as well as in land water, our main aim with the sessions was to teach children essential skills that will help them to keep safe in water.
A total of four sessions took place throughout the week, two in Plas Menai and two in Plas Heli. Swimming teachers from Byw’n Iach Arfon, Caernarfon and Byw’n Iach Dwyfor, Pwllheli supported the sessions, working closely alongside the Plas Menai instructors and swim team. The sessions proved popular, with 148 children in attendance across the four sessions, from 7 of the local schools. Some of the children had no open water experience and others a fear of water. With the guidance and support of the experienced staff it was amazing to see how their confidence built with the knowledge and essential skills that they gained during each session.
Kyle Jones, headteacher at Ysgol Hendre was keen to provide feedback,
“The children really enjoyed it and saw the sessions as very valuable. We praise that staff and thank you very much for the offer to come to the sessions. It would be great to see more children to have access to similar sessions if possible, especially living in Caernarfon and local areas.2
The teams behind the delivery are keen to build on the success of the June event and are looking forward to creating more sessions throughout the year and encouraging more young people in the community to become Swim Safe. Watch this space!
For more information on the Swim Safe programme and to become involved as a school or provider, please contact email@example.com