The motivation for the water safety programme came from the knowledge that living close to the sea, drowning is a frequent reality – few opportunities exist for children to learn basic safety techniques and swimming skills. Drowning is listed as one of the top causes of unnatural deaths in South Africa and is one of the leading causes of unintentional injury or death related to children aged 1 -14 years. In cases of near drowning, children are often left with permanent brain damage.
Swimming is an important life skill and it is crucial for children to learn to swim from a young age. With this in mind, volunteers and coaches of the Football Foundation raised funding for a swimming pool site. This marked the start of finding an appropriate site and building the pool. With months of work, driven by the dedication and commitment of this team, we are pleased to announce that all these efforts have culminated in our first water safety programme launch in October!
The programme is 8 weeks long and works to teach the children how to float and to navigate points of entry and exit to ensure they are able to get themselves out of difficult situations.The initial programme has launched with Grade R’s from Masakhane Primary. We run separate sessions for the girls and boys and have 15 girls and 36 boys participating. This is only the start, once we have achieved our goal of water proofing all the Grade R's, the next phase is extending the programme to ensure all primary school goers in the area are swimming proficient.