With campus life flourishing after the previous years’ shut-downs, students have dived back into the many activities and programs offered around the University. One of these is the free Water Safety Program, a Melbourne University Sport initiative supporting inclusion and student well-being.
While learning to swim is a national tradition for young Australians, many international students have had limited water exposure before coming to Melbourne, preventing them from experiencing the incredible beaches and rivers that Victoria has to offer.
The Water Safety Program addresses this by teaching participants, primarily women and International Students, the invaluable practical skills and knowledge required to safely enjoy Australia’s waterways. Each semester, students receive ten swimming lessons, taught by qualified instructors who are also University of Melbourne students, and an unlimited access pool membership to practice their newly learnt skills.
“Watching the Water Safety Program participants progress from learning how to float to actually swimming full laps of the pool is inspiring,” shared Water Safety Program Coordinator Marcus Grillo, “the program has such a positive impact on students and it’s incredible to see how dedicated and passionate they are.”
Participants are also invited to attend a beach safety education seminar and morning tea, made possible by MU Sport’s partnership with Life Saving Victoria. The event is a fantastic opportunity for students to get to know each other and their teachers away from the pool and is a highlight of every year.
At the conclusion of this Semester’s program, students visited Sandridge Beach in Port Melbourne for a practical beach program hosted by Life Saving Victoria. Participants learnt beach safety skills, CPR, rescue techniques, and how to identify potential hazards including rips, before playing various games such as beach soccer and rash-vest races. This was the first time many of the students had been to a beach, and at the end of the session expressed that they felt more comfortable around the ocean and looked forward to going to the beach with friends in Summer.
With more students returning to campus, the Water Safety Program provides an opportunity to learn a life-long skill and form new friendships along the way. Following positive student feedback and enthusiastic participation throughout the year, the Water Safety Program will return bigger and better in 2023. Click here to learn more and register your interest in Semester 1’s program.