Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club recently donated rash vests and swimwear to Water Safety Vietnam.
Vietnam has more than 3300km of coastline and over 7000km of rivers. An estimated 10 to 30 children drown every day.
Water Safety Vietnam is an Australian charity that sends qualified Australian swimming instructors (some being from OGSLSC) to Vietnam to train swim teachers.
It has also involved in introducing swimming lessons into PE classes, helping more kids to achieve basic water skills.
Water safety and surf education are one of Ocean Grove SLSC’s highest priorities. In order to provide water safety to Nippers and others, members must hold a current Surf Rescue Certificate or Bronze Medallion.
OGSLSC offers several bronze courses per year, with 32 adults signed up for the latest course which is running over three weeks.
Participants were recently put through their paces at Bellarine Aquatic and Sports Centre, with a 400m qualifying pool swim.
The course includes theory and practical sessions on resuscitation, first aid, communication techniques, surf skills, and rescue techniques.
“I have been running the Adult Bronze course for the past five years and it’s our biggest group yet,” head trainer Amenah McDonald said.
“Most participants are Nipper parents who go on to become water safety volunteers.
“They gain a whole new level of appreciation for what their kids do.
“As a patrol captain I also encourage them to join me on patrol, and give back to the community.”
The club also offers the popular Bronze Week in late December, targeted at younger members.
The course gives around 50 new lifesavers the opportunity to earn their introductory qualifications.