The Christchurch City Council Swim Education team have become the first organisation in New Zealand to achieve accreditation as a Water Skills for Life provider, for their Swimsafe programme.
Tina de Boer, Swim Education Manager, says the accreditation is recognition of the Swim Education team’s dedication to educating the children of Canterbury about water safety.
“Teaching children water safety is a crucial skill they will use for the rest of their life. Our goal is to give children the skills and knowledge they need to assess risk and make smart decisions around water.
“We are very proud to have received this significant recognition for the hard work and effort we have put into our successful programme.”
Ms de Boer says the Council’s Swimsafe programme has been developed over a number of years.
No other organisation or individual in New Zealand has received this accreditation to date.
Nigel Cox, Head of Recreation, says the accreditation is a visible symbol of Council’s commitment to water survival education.
“We know that teaching children water safety when they are young and receptive to new skills sets them up for further learning and resilience throughout their lives.”
Water Skills for Life is a national water safety education programme, supported by Water Safety New Zealand and ACC.
It was developed for tamariki in Years 1-8 to learn water safety while at school.
The Swim Education team’s accreditation was awarded by Water Safety New Zealand on 10 August 2023.
This accreditation recognises and supports organisations with well-designed and well-run water-based programmes with an emphasis on water survival and engagement.
To achieve this accreditation, the Swim Education team had to:
Feedback was also considered from schools within Canterbury, who attended the Swimsafe programme the previous year.
Currently Council’s Swim Education team deliver the Water Skills for Life Programme to 72 schools in Canterbury.