Youngsters across the Fylde Coast will be making waves with YMCA next week in support of the Royal Life Saving Society’s National Drowning Prevention Week from 21st – 28th June.
Throughout Drowning Prevention Week, YMCA Fylde Coast Swimming Pools will be incorporating specialised Swimming Safety activities and games into all school swimming lessons during the week.
The local charity will be using activities and resources provided by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (the UK’s drowning prevention charity) to teach local youngsters about the risk of being in, on and around water.
On top of this, YMCA will be extending the activities to a second week, to further help raise awareness of drowning prevention. YMCA’s staff will help in raising the awareness by participating in a “Towathon” fundraising event (29th June – 3rd July) in support of Drowning Prevention Week and the amazing work of the RLSS.
YMCA’s focus on drowning prevention will conclude with the Rookie Beach Party on Saturday 4th July. The event has been organised to celebrate the achievements of YMCA’s Rookie Lifeguards who are all aged 8 – 14 years. All youngsters participating in the Rookie Programmes across YMCA pools have been invited to come together and experience some open water lifesaving and safe fun on the beach at Fleetwood.
Dave Parker, the YMCA’s Senior Manager for Aquatics said: “It is shocking that drowning is still the third highest cause of accidental deaths of children in the UK. Around 400 people drown in the UK each year and thousands more suffering near-drowning experiences, which can result in life changing injuries. We at YMCA Fylde Coast think this is unacceptable.”
“We are committed to teaching swimming and lifesaving skills and supporting the continued provision for swimming in all of our communities. We are offering our full support to the excellent work of the RLSS by continuously serving the youth in our community, providing them with valuable life skills which can keep them safe near water.”
The children from Claughton St Mary’s Primary School enjoyed a “drowning prevention swimming lesson” during their weekly school lesson on Monday. This included essential life saving skills such as treading water, floating and sculling.
School swimming teacher, Kirsten Swift said: “I’ve been teaching life saving for over 20 years and it saddens me each year when you here reports of someone who has drowned, which ultimately could of been prevented.
The local primary school children attend weekly swimming lessons at YMCA Garstang Swimming Centre, but once they move to secondary school swimming lessons no longer take place. This impacts on their ability and knowledge to help themselves or someone in trouble in the future.
This could be addressed be attending weekly Rookie Lifeguard or survive and save sessions here at their local pool providing them with the essential life skills they need.”