And the winner is
And the winner is

And the winner is

The sound of the starter’s siren ringing out into the air, the exhilarant clapping and cheering, the time-old chants…

This was the atmosphere that greeted me when sitting back and enjoying my sons’ school swimming carnival this week. It was a wonderful event filled with colour, smiling and encouragement. Kids were warmly urged to ‘give it a go’, ‘have fun’, ‘do your best’, all the things I’ve come to expect and value at Casino Christian School. It was about participation, supporting each other and having fun. I was the proudest mum, watching my son finish his first ever race, doing his best and being encouraged and supported by the older students.

While saying this though, I am mindful that other mums and dads may not be enjoying the summer carnival season as much as my family. We returned to school this year after a summer nightmare of drownings and near-drownings in and around our state. Water, for some, has been turned into an emblem of fear, loss and insurmountable grief, not the picture of summer frivolity that it once was.

I am writing about this to encourage all parents to consider the investment into swimming lessons, swim-safe programs and doing whatever you can to ensure that our great Australian tradition of water fun is not ruined. As a parent, I have also see the benefits of my children’s school running a free, swimming program for all Year 1-6 students. This has complimented what I can do and afford to do at home.

I would strongly urge other parents to push for swimming programs to be a regular part of their local schools too. Advocating for governments to give funding to schools to run swim programs in their sport and PE curriculums seems like an obvious way to help parents keep their children safe. Perhaps too, we need to have the discussion about subsidies for often expensive swimming lessons for preschool aged children.

As we turn to the water to keep cool during this hot summer, let’s have the conversations about what we as parents, communities and schools can do to keep our children safe.


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