Parents and guardians are being encouraged to register their child or ward for the Swim For Life programme.
The initiative, being carried out by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, in association with the National Sports Council and the National Conversation Commission, seeks to equip children aged six to 16 with the knowledge and skills necessary to safeguard themselves while at the beach.
It is part of a greater initiative called We Sea, We Life, conceptualised to educate Barbadians about preservation of the ocean and its ability to be a highly productive resource.
Speaking at the project’s launch, recently held at his Ministry, at Charnocks, Christ Church, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey expressed optimism the programme could help people to overcome their fear of the sea.
“We feel that swimming is an essential part of any Barbadian’s life. The unfortunate reality is that many Barbadians cannot swim …. Many still have that traditional, historical association with the ocean where people say ‘the sea ain’t got no backdoor’,” he said.
The goal is to have 1,000 young certified swimmers, and Minister Humphrey also noted that developing this skill could help to chart career paths for those interested in working in the maritime sector.
Sessions will be conducted daily from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., throughout the month of August until September 4, at the following beaches: Brandons, Folkestone, Enterprise, Carlisle Bay, and Queen’s Street.
The facilities of the Aquatic Centre, the Ursuline Convent School, Sea Side Aquatic, Aquability swim schools will also be utilised.
Registration forms are available from: the Fisheries Division, Bridgetown; the National Sports Council; Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, Wildey, St. Michael; and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, located in the Civil Aviation Department Building, Charnocks, Christ Church.
For more information, persons may call 535-2011, 535-2009, or 535-9601.