ARV AND SAILIING AUSTRALIA TO TRIAL ‘LEARN TO SWIM & SAIL’ PROGRAM
Leading aquatic peak bodies Aquatics & Recreation Victoria (ARV) and Australian Sailing are joining forces to develop and pilot a ‘Learn to Swim & Sail’ program for six to twelve year old kids, set to be trialled in January 2017 at the Mornington Yacht Club.
The program will combine aquatic education and swim lessons with entry level sailing tuition and aims to make learning to swim more interesting, and eliminate some big barriers to kids getting involved in sailing: a lack of swimming ability and confidence in the open water.
Each program will run for five consecutive days, and participants will receive a VICSWIM certificate and Tackers 1 certificate upon successful completion. Multiple programs are expected to be run weekly from 3 January to 20 January.
The program will be delivered by Mornington Yacht Club’s Tackers program leaders, who will be qualified to deliver both course components.
The learn to swim curriculum will be delivered as part of the annual VICSWIM program - Victoria’s longest running and most successful community aquatic education and safety program – and added to a Tackers 1 learn to sail course. ARV has been running VICSWIM for over 40 years and annually engages 10,000 Victorian kids at over 130 venues all over the state. VICSWIM is generously supported by the State Government of Victoria.
Enrolments are expected to open in October via the VICSWIM (www.vicswim.com.au), Tackers (discoversailing.org.au/tackers/) and Mornington Yacht Club (www.morningtonyc.net.au) websites.
Anthony McIntosh, CEO, ARV: “We’re excited to create a new program that expands the horizons of learning to swim. People swim for all sorts of reasons, and mostly to have fun. To think this will encourage new participants and members for sailing, and potentially for other aquatic sports is terrific.”
Rod Austin, CEO, Mornington Yacht Club: “Understandably, many parents are anxious at the thought of their kids being tossed out of a dinghy into open water when learning to sail, and so end up guiding their kids towards other activities. This program is designed to give the kids swimming confidence and by extension, peace of mind to parents.”
Gavin Wall, Australian Sailing, Regional Manager - Victoria: “This is an exciting initiative that, if successful, we’d look to replicate throughout our member clubs in Victoria. The ‘Learn to Swim & Sail’ program is all about opening up the sport to new members of the community and giving children and families the confidence to Discover Sailing.”
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