Swim, surf lessons at Orient

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FORTY kids from different schools in Duncan Village and Scenery Park were ecstatic about being given an opportunity to cool off at the Orient Swimming Pools with their new swimming costumes to launch the Buffalo City Metro’s (BCM) swimming project.

SWIM LESSONS: Buffalo City Metro launched a project at Orient pools to teach children to swim and surf in a bid to stop drowning incidents over the festive season Picture: QHAMANI LINGANI

The BCM swimming safety project was launched last week ahead of the festive season to promote water safety. BCM and its sister city, Leiden will spend a total of R137550 towards the project covering costs that include swimming equipment and gear, transport to the venue and salaries for the project team.

The programme that started last year, is aimed at preventing children from drowning. Youngsters from Isibindi Child and Youth Care and Safe Park in Duncan Village were given introductory swimming lessons and trained in water safety.

This year, the programme continues with a six-month swimming programme where 20 youngsters from the Safe Park and another 20 from Scenery Park aged nine to 15 will be equipped with water-safety skills.

JD van der Walt, executive board member of Border Aquatics said last year, they had started with just 20 kids from Duncan Village.

“We don’t only teach them swimming skills but we equip them with life-skills as well.

“We try to make sure that they make positive choices as that will impact their lives at a later stage,” Van der Walt said.

BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the group from Scenery Park are children who were involved in the drowning tragedy at Umzonyana Dam, where one person died, in February

Surfing will take place every Thursday at the Orient Pools and swimming every Tuesday at the Ruth Belonsky Pools in Parkside.

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