Christchurch City Council’s Swim Education team has become the first organisation in New Zealand to achieve accreditation as a Water Skills for Life provider, for its Swimsafe programme.
Swim Education Manager, Tina de Boer says the accreditation is recognition of the team’s dedication to educating the children of Canterbury about water safety.
“Teaching children water safety is a crucial skill they will use for the rest of their life. Our goal is to give children the skills and knowledge they need to assess risk and make smart decisions around water,” she said.
“We are very proud to have received this significant recognition for the hard work and effort we have put into our successful programme.”
Ms de Boer said Council’s Swimsafe programme had been developed over a number of years.
Head of Recreation, Nigel Cox said the accreditation reflected Council’s commitment to water survival education.
“We know that teaching children water safety when they are young and receptive to new skills sets them up for further learning and resilience throughout their lives,” he said.
Water Skills for Life is a national water safety education programme, supported by Water Safety New Zealand and ACC.
It was developed for tamariki in Years 1-8 to learn water safety while at school.
The Swim Education team’s accreditation was awarded by Water Safety New Zealand on 10 August 2023.
This accreditation recognises and supports organisations with well-designed and well-run water-based programmes with an emphasis on water survival and engagement.
To achieve this accreditation, the Swim Education team had to:
- Complete Water Safety training modules.
- Undergo Water Safety’s internal and external moderation and assessments.
- Provide evidence of all additional training provided to the instructors who teach the Swimsafe programme.
- Provide evidence of the lessons provided to schools and the structure of the programme.
- Assess every child that goes through the CCC Swimsafe Programme and load these results into the national database.
Feedback was also considered from schools within Canterbury, who attended the Swimsafe programme the previous year.
Currently Council’s Swim Education team deliver the Water Skills for Life Programme to 72 schools in Canterbury.