News

Water Smart and Swimming Costumes with JOT Reading Club

On the morning of February 6th, 2016 Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) hosted our third Water Smart Fun Day event with 66 children from the JOT Reading Club. The children came in high spirits and joined us on Kariega beach, eager to learn about safety in and around the water. After a few fun games led by one of our incredible SST Trainees, Ntombethemba, the children were introduced to Gracie Allanson. Gracie is a student from Diocesan School for Girls (DSG) whose been visiting Kenton her whole life. Over the course of her visits she noticed that there were often children on the shores who wanted to swim but didn’t have swimming costumes and would instead swim in their clothes. This realization sparked a wonderful idea. Gracie began collecting swimming costumes to donate to local children under the vision that everyone should enjoy the beach comfortably and safely. The Water Smart program was the perfect opportunity for children from the JOT Reading Club, many of whom didn’t have costumes of their own, to receive the most important piece of swimming equipment. The children were incredibly excited and grateful to suit up for a day of Water Smart lessons in their new costumes. The reactions of the children touched Gracie and she plans to collect more costumes in the future and wants to involve others at DSG in programs like Water Smart.

Once the children were water ready, they were split into two groups. One group learned how to pack and prepare for a day at the beach, to recognize dangers around the beach, the emergency number to call in the case of an incident, how to help someone whose in trouble both in and out of the water, and hands-on CPR. The second group learned water skills including how to put their face in the water, to blow bubbles, to float on their backs, and to doggy paddle. After a snack break, the two groups switched activities so that every child could learn both safety lessons and water skills.

Each child left the event with a smile on his or her face and practical knowledge of safety and swimming at the beach. SST would like to send a heartfelt thank you to Marion and the JOT Reading Club for bringing the children to the beach and encouraging them to learn how to be Water Smart, and also to Gracie Allanson for her initiative in collecting and donating the swimming costumes. We hope to work with you ladies again soon.

Interested in getting involved in the Water Smart program or participating in the lessons? Keep your eyes out for upcoming Water Smart events on our Facebook page and Website or email shauna@sst.org.za .

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Did You Know?

"South African Hope Spots are people-oriented conservation areas in which individuals and communities are asked to make a positive difference to their own coastal and marine environments."

Dr Tony Ribbink
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