110 students have completed the inaugural Water Safety Program (WSP) at the University, learning skills essential to safety around water and beaches in Australia. Upon its launch in May, all places filled within 24 hours of registrations opening.
The program was developed by MU Sport and funded by the SSAF. The eight week program is being provided at no cost and will equip participants with a range of skills and knowledge essential to survival in and around water. Program partners included Life Saving Victoria, Propulsion Aquatic, UMSU International, Global Mobility and Students@Work.Marcus Grillo, WSP leader, stated that the program was designed to fill a gap in the student experience for international students.
‘Water safety is something that many Australians take for granted’, he said. ‘Locals in Australia grow up around the water, but in countries where water culture is not prominent, young people are often never taught how to be safe around water’
Participants had weekly classes during semester 1 with 3-5 other students and a qualified swimming instructor. By the end of the course, each student was equipped with skills such as how to tread water, and how to identify a rip at the beach.
The program provided holistic learning to University students that otherwise would not have been able to access it, according to Medicine student and WSP participant Brigitta Wardhani.
‘The program being free made it possible for me to access the University’s Aquatics facility’, she said and the benefits to her student experience are clear - ‘I’ve been transformed into a person who loves swimming, from a person who feared water’
MU Sport intends to offer an expanded Water Safety Program in Semester 2, and hopes to eventually make the program available to all students that wish to learn about water safety.
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for updates on the Water Safety Program
The Inaugural Water Safety Program cohort.