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iISSUE NO. 3616 

April 19 - 24, 2013

 

 Coastweek   Kenya


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Coastweek -- Farid Mohamed [left], swimming coach at BMIS and a volunteer lifeguard at the Jomo Kenyatta public beach hands over a certificate of achievement to one of the swimmers that participated in the Fun Day event at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach. Looking on is the captain of the Jomo Kenyatta Volunteer, Lifeguard and Beach Watch team.

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Youngsters Train To Become
Best Swimmers In Mombasa

eleven girls and twelve boys selected FOR the School
Children Safety Awareness and Swimming Programme

Coastweek -- Twenty three students from Mtwapa Primary School who have been undergoing training to learn how to swim and be safe near water celebrated their graduation in a Fun Day event at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach last weekend.

I am very pleased with their swimming skills” said Farid Mohamed their swimming instructor and also a fulltime swimming instructor at the Braeburn Mombasa International School (BMIS).

The eleven girls and twelve boys were selected to be part of the School Children Safety Awareness and Swimming Programme (Pilot II).

The programme was started in response to numerous cases of drowning especially of children at the Kenyan Coast.

 

   
  Coastweek -- The children swam in deep sea waters when they were treated to a glass bottom boat ride to the coral reef where they snorkeled and observed marine life.

The students attended swimming lessons at BMIS almost every Saturday since November 3rd 2012 to March 30th 2013.

These students selected from classes four to seven, have learnt how to swim, from a beginner’s level up to a level where they learnt basic life saving skills.

When we started the swimming programme, none of the students could swim before”, said Ms. Grace Mbuthia one of their four sports teachers who have been accompanying the students to the training.

We are lost for words as to how well they can all swim.”

On the Fun Day, the children swam in deep sea waters when they were treated to a glass bottom boat ride to the coral reef where they snorkelled and observed marine life.

I am sure none of these children have ever been on a boat to the corals” said Francis Menza, captain of the Jomo Kenyatta Volunteer and Life-guard and Beach Watch team.

It was very important for them to get in the water and learn what creatures live in the sea and how to swim safely in the ocean”.

These students come from remote fishing villages living along the Kenyan coast, with no basic swimming lessons avail-able to them, let alone snorkelling.

The students, their teachers and volunteer lifeguards also worked in teams on other activities on the Fun Day such as beach games, marine and environmental education, as well as a beach clean-up exercise.

Ms. Mbuthia says the programme was timely as well as beneficial to the students in making them well rounded.

Some of the children, especially the younger ones were shy and scared of the water” she explains.

I see their confidence has grown in and out of water.

They now interact more freely with other students and their teachers”

In fact, all the four sports teachers learned how to swim together with their students.

It was very challenging in the beginning being at the same level with my students” Mr Kithi Kombe pointed out.

But the determination of even the younger ones inspired me to keep going.”

The teachers said they would like keep the club going in school under the name Shark Swimmers.

We are making arrangements on how the club can be sustained and more children benefit from such lessons” Mr Kombe explained.

The students each received a certificate of achievement, a school bag and a beach safety awareness booklet at the end of the event.

The programme is funded by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) under CRDF’s (Crisis Response Development foundation) Maritime Safety Program.

This is the second group of children who have gone through the training programme.

The first was students from Mtomwandoni Primary School in 2010.

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Coastweek -- The students selected from classes four to seven, have learnt how to swim, from a beginner’s level up to a level where they learnt basic life saving skills.

 

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