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Royston Health Trust funding learn to swim and water safety

The Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust is excited to announce the extension of the Royston Health Trust Learn to Swim and Water Safety Programme for children across Hawke’s Bay. Following the resounding success of the initial pilot in 2023 which saw over 17,000 individual funded lessons, the Trust has committed to funding two additional years of this vital initiative, ensuring continued access to essential aquatic education for local youth.

The programme, scheduled to run throughout 2024 and 2025, will provide over 700 students per term, ranging from year 3 to year 8, with eight fully funded learn to swim and water safety lessons each. This comprehensive approach not only focuses on developing swimming proficiency but also emphasises crucial water safety skills necessary for safe enjoyment of aquatic environments.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust to offer this vital programme,” said Jacqui Gray, Chair of Royston Health Trust. “Ensuring that children have access to quality swim lessons and water safety education is paramount for us. It’s an investment in their health, well-being, and future.”

The decision to extend the programme comes in light of alarming statistics regarding drowning rates in New Zealand. By providing comprehensive water safety education alongside swimming lessons, the programme aims to address critical gaps in knowledge and reduce the risk of water-related incidents.

“At the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust, we recognise the importance of equipping our children with the skills and knowledge to navigate water safely,” said Greg Howie, Commercial and Partnerships at the Trust. “By working with the Royston Health Trust, extending the Learn to Swim and Water Safety Programme, we are reaffirming our commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of our community’s youth.”

The programme’s curriculum has been carefully designed to integrate both swimming instruction and water safety education seamlessly. Participants will learn fundamental swimming techniques while simultaneously gaining awareness of water safety practices, including recognising hazards, understanding currents, and implementing rescue strategies.

Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust General Manager – Brendan Bourke says, “Learning to swim goes hand in hand with understanding water safety, “Our goal is not only to foster swimming proficiency but also to instill a sense of confidence and respect for water environments among our participants.”

Primary and intermediate schools throughout Hawke’s Bay are invited to enroll in the programme, with sessions having already commenced in the first school term at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre in Hastings. Interested schools can register by submitting a registration of interest to harshi@hbaquatic.co.nz.

The Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust’s commitment to extending the Learn to Swim and Water Safety Programme reflects its dedication to promoting active and healthy lifestyles within the community. By investing in aquatic education, the Trust aims to empower children with lifelong skills that will enhance their well-being and safety for years to come.

About Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust:

The Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust is a leading advocate for health and wellness in the Hawke’s Bay region. Through innovative programs and strategic partnerships, the Trust strives to promote physical activity, mental well-being, and social cohesion within the community. The Royston Health Trust Learn to Swim and Water Safety Programme exemplifies the Trust’s commitment to nurturing healthy habits and fostering safer communities.

 

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