29 Nov Water Safety a Lifesaver for Local Tibetan Community
Gearing up for another busy summer, the team of dedicated volunteer swim instructors at ‘Water Skills for Life’ truly love what they do.
President and Head Instructor Tanya Carmont runs a number of swim programs, and believes that everyone, no matter where they live, their cultural background or their financial situation – deserves the opportunity to learn to swim and be safe in the aquatic environment.
In 2011 Tanya first saw the need to assist the Tibetan community, after receiving many enquiries. Since then, she has specifically developed a learn-to-swim and water safety program and a book for the local Tibetans, and now has over 65 participants which includes both adults and children.
“We actually are home to Australia’s largest Tibetan community here in Dee Why,” said Tanya. “The beach is an important part of Australian culture, and yet swim lessons are expensive and therefore unaffordable for many.
The lack of knowledge could get Tibetans into serious trouble in the ocean. It is very important to have a swim program designed for them, so that they can learn water safety skills and enjoy our beaches”, she added.
Dee Why RSL has been a proud supporter of both ‘Water Skills for Life’ and the ‘Tibetan Community of Australia (NSW)’ through its Community Support Program. Since 2012 the Club has donated $22,000 in funding to support this program, as well as $23,000 to the Tibetan community for their language school.
The swim lessons are free for the Tibetan community and are taught on Saturdays at Fitness First Dee Why. Nine qualified volunteers are on hand to teach basic water safety, along with freestyle, survival backstroke and
some breaststroke; enough to get them out of trouble. The lessons are very well received by both kids and adults from the Tibetan community, who are all very appreciative.
“We also provide training to Tibetans to become swim instructors themselves, and are very proud to say that one of our qualified instructors is from the Tibetan community – a young man by the name of Tenzin Khentse Kyishi.
It’s incredibly rewarding for myself and the instructors to witness the journey from not being able to swim, to be able to enjoy the water without fear. We are also really thankful to Dee Why RSL for their ongoing support of this vital program,” said Tanya.
If you would like to support Water Skills for Life in their quest to provide assistance in the prevention of drowning by way of support to volunteer swim programs, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: http://www.waterskillsforlife.org.au