Swim for Fruit to benefit community

Published: Tuesday, 22 October 2019 at 9:00:00 AM

The Swim for Fruit program has benefited WA communities in many ways – supporting both remote and Aboriginal communities, encouraging physical activity, teaching vital water and safety skills to participants, and encouraging healthy eating.

Facilitated by the Royal Life Saving Society WA, (RLSSWA) the Go for 2 & 5 Swim For Fruit (Swim for Fruit) program aims to improve the overall health status of Aboriginal children in regional and remote communities. The Shire is delighted to announce that this program, which has been running successfully in the state for a decade, will reach locals soon.

An incentive-based program, and supported by Healthway, it was developed in response to a greater need for water safety, physical activity, and adequate fruit and vegetable intake amongst the young Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. Most Aboriginal children do not consume adequate daily fruit and vegetables, with 2014 data showing that 85% of Aboriginal children were not meeting recommended intake of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, Aboriginal people living in remote areas consumed less serves of fruit than those living in non-remote areas (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016). Fruit and vegetable intake amongst non-Aboriginal children is also low.

Another critical issue that Swim for Fruit addresses is the lack of water safety awareness and skills amongst rural and remote communities. Drowning remains the leading cause of preventable death for toddlers and is among the top ten leading causes of death nationally of children and young people.

To address these factors, RLSSWA has been working with swimming poolsin region for a decade – 13 pools in total, including several remote communities. Participating children are rewarded for their swimming efforts by receiving a healthy afternoon tea following each session.

“The positive impact that this program will have on the community cannot be understated. Its value will continue to grow as the program moves forward. I believe that Swim For Fruit addresses the issues that impact the wellbeing and quality of life of Shire residents, as evidenced by its benefit to other regional and remote communities”, said Shire President, Malcolm Cullen.

The Swim For Fruit program will be running two days per week during Term 4 at Coolgardie Pool. Children aged 6 – 15 years are encouraged to join the program. To register, simply complete a registration form available at the Coolgardie Recreation Centre.

Swim For Fruit Morning Tea Swim For Fruit Celebration

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