The water safety initiative aimed at educating youth in Ward 49 has officially been launched.
The programme was launched on Monday 12 April at the Dulcie September hall with local government officials excited at the prospect of taking the initiative to other parts of the province.
Ward 49 councillor Rashid Adams says the programme will consist of two stages: learning to swim, and then aspects of lifesaving.
“The idea is to create an awareness on all elements which includes environmental awareness, safety on the beach, and marine life,” says Adams.
“Youth will also have the opportunity to train and apply for positions as a lifesavers when advertised by the City.”
The idea of creating a programme was first sparked after the interest from youth to a day activity in partnership with Alpha Lifesaving club, based in Strandfontein (“Youth now water wise”, People’s Post, 23 February).
A total of 15 young people between the ages of 15 and 18 attended the workshop and with interest from the community and parents, the opportunity presented itself to develop a lifesaving and water awareness programme in the ward, said Adams at the time.
“In my experience, I noticed that the young children in Athlone have a strong attachment to the water. This is why we had a problem when the pools were closed,” he said.
The initiative is open to residents of the ward from five years up. Some lessons will take place at Athlone municipal pools.
“There is a keen interest amongst our youth and parents alike. We will also be approaching the schools in the area,” he says.