Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett

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    Minister outlines Vacswim program

    22/08/2000 1:28 PM
     
    22/8/00

    The Vacswim swimming and water safety program gets under way in October with classes also being held during the summer vacation.

    Education Minister Colin Barnett said today classes were planned at 39 centres in October and 386 swimming centres across the State in January, including 206 country swimming centres.

    “The Western Australian Vacswim Program is the biggest mass participation swimming program of its type in Australia,”
    Mr Barnett said.

    “Hundreds of thousands of Western Australians have learned essential swimming and life saving skills which are imperative for our outdoor lifestyle.”

    Mr Barnett said enrolment fees for this season’s program would increase slightly bringing the cost of participation from $22 to $23.

    He said the program had seen a $1 increase since 1989 - except for last year - and the teacher/student ratio had decreased from 1 to 10 to 1 to 9.

    “Royal Life Saving Society research indicates that 90 per cent of WA parents enrol their children to learn about water safety,” the Minister said.

    “I would encourage all parents to enrol their children in the classes.

    “The biggest reduction in the rate of drowning is in the five to 14-year-old age group and these are the children involved in Vacswim classes.

    “Children enrolling in the program have the opportunity to complete awards offered by the Education Department, Royal Life Saving Society, Surf Life Saving WA and - at selected centres - WA Water Polo Association.”

    Mr Barnett said more than 1,500 qualified swimming instructors would be employed to teach more than the 60,000 children expected to enrol in the program.

    Media contact: Diana Callander 9222 9699