Balga swimmers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds finish swimming program

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

THIRTY Balga swimmers from the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Community have completed an eight-week swimming program run by the Royal Life Saving Society WA.

Chief executive Peter Leaversuch said the program aimed to enable women to feel comfortable.

“We wanted to address the concerns many CaLD women had expressed about swimming in an environment where men were present, as this poses a cultural problem for them,” he said.

“The classes are led by female instructors where the women can feel at ease… in some cases classes are even held behind closed doors.”

Mr Leaversuch said Royal Life Saving Society WA worked hard to make swimming accessible to all Australians.

“Often swimming and water safety education is overlooked by new migrants due to barriers such as cost and availability, and for many migrant women the issue of cultural modesty is extremely important,” he said.

A review of drowning data over the past five years indicated there have been 50 drowning deaths in WA involving members of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Community, which represented 37 per cent of all drowning deaths.