Tauranga businesses and individuals are being urged to get behind a BaySwim initiative to fund swimming lessons for children in families experiencing financial hardship.
BaySwim manager Matthew Strange says pre-school children from families who cannot afford swimming lessons stand to benefit from the initiative, and he is urging locals to show support and give these children an equal chance to learn essential skills. The children involved will be selected with assistance from the local Salvation Army support services.
|The children selected by Salvation Army for the BaySwim initiative will be in the pre-school age group (three and four years of age) as this is a key development period, Matthew says. It follows on from the free Aquababe classes Bayswim offers in Quarter 3 each year and gets them ready for school.
He says those supporting the sponsored swimming programme would be doing more than ensuring children in our water-side city can learn to swim. They would be giving them a lifelong skill and equal chance to develop along with their peers.
“They will also be addressing potential child obesity and social inclusion issues, and helping to ensure more children participate in aquatic activities once they reach school. It can also lead onto future participation in swimming clubs, water polo, surf lifesaving – basically helping set up a healthy and active lifestyle for these children,” Matthew says.
Money donated by businesses for this initiative will go into one fund to be distributed to pay for lessons for as many children as possible. There is no set donation amount.