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National Water Safety Programme Introduces New Open Water Module

 
A SwimSafer instructor teaching his students the proper way of putting on a life jacket in open water. (Photo: SSC)
 
Parents now have the opportunity to ensure their children gain the necessary water safety knowledge and survival skills in open water through a new module, SwimSafer Open Water, launched by the National Water Safety Council (NWSC) and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) today.
 
The SwimSafer Open Water, which is a complementary module under the National water safety programme SwimSafer, equips not only children, but also
adults, with skills in open water safety, including proper swimming techniques in open water and the correct fitting of a lifejacket.
 
The module also educates participants on the unique risks and dangers present in open water as compared to swimming in a pool uneven surfaces, river currents, sea undertow and the effects of changing weather which pose challenges even for the most experienced water sports enthusiasts.
 
Dr Teo Ho Pin, Chairman of the NWSC and Mayor of North West District, who officiated the launch of SwimSafer Open Water at East Coast Park today,
commented, occurring in open water over the last five years1, SwimSafer Open Water is a highly recommended modular option for both children and adults to learn open water survival skills, especially water sports enthusiasts who spend a great deal of their
 
Participants of SwimSafer Open Water will undergo practical lessons in an open water environment under the close guidance of trained instructors, who have completed the SwimSafer Open Water Instructor Course and have at least obtained a Bronze Cross award in life saving.

The SSC will continue to reach out to students engaged in water sports co-circular activities and partner grassroots organisations to encourage community
involvement in SwimSafer Open Water to promote active and safe participation in water sports.
 
To date, more than 50,000 participants have benefitted from the SwimSafer programme since it was rolled out in July 2010, with 170 out of 178 primary schools taking part this year.
 
SwimSafer Instructor Development Programme
  
NWSC and SSC have also introduced the SwimSafer Instructor Development Programme to further improve the quality of the SwimSafer programme and its instructors. More than 600 SwimSafer instructors will undergo periodic re-certification courses and water safety workshops to reacquaint themselves with the principles of SwimSafer and workshops also serve as platforms for instructors to share best practices and techniques in instruction.
 
Commenting on the importance of the Programme, Mrs Cory Gambardella, Deputy Director of the SwimSafer Programme at the SSC an important asset of the SwimSafer programme. Through the SwimSafer Instructor Development Programme, we aim to enhance their mastery of the concepts and skills of the SwimSafer programme, thereby further improving the quality of the SwimSafer programme to benefit all participants  
 
“The SwimSafer re-certification course offers a useful recap of the concepts and skills of the SwimSafer programme for instructors like me. It also provides me a great opportunity to explore with other fellow instructors new ways of teaching our students about water safety,” SwimSafer instructor with 15 years of coaching experience.
 
For more information on SwimSafer, the public can visit www.singaporesports.sg/swimsafer or contact the SSC SwimSafer Division via email at [email protected]