Royal Lifesaving Society WA runs swimming lessons for migrant women at Leisurepark in Balga


Pancy Neeliplackal and Fransisca Oh.
Pancy Neeliplackal and Fransisca Oh.

BALGA women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are learning to swim as a part of a program to reduce drowning incidents.

The program is run by the Royal Life Saving Society WA, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Office of Multicultural Interests.

Twenty-five women participated in eight swim and survival lessons at Leisurepark in Balga.

The women received a certificate at the end of the program.

According to the Western Australian Drowning Report, there have been 50 drowning deaths over the last five years involving people from CaLD.

Royal Life Saving Society WA inclusion coordinator Jen Mickle said swimming and water safety were often overlooked by migrants due to cost and availability barriers.

“It is clear that greater effort and new ways to effectively address these barriers to participation need to be found so that swimming, lifesaving and community education programs are appropriate and accessible to all Australians,” she said.

“This program gives women the opportunity to experience learning to swim as an enjoyable pastime, and enables them to enjoy something that is an important part of Australian life.”

Swimmer Fransisca Oh said she liked swimming with people around the same age as her.

Another swimmer, Pancy Neeliplackal, said there was no pressure during the lessons.

Lessons are held every Tuesday from 11.30am-1.30pm.