New National Water Safety Programme With Emphasis On Water Survival Skills Introduced
New National Water Safety Programme With Emphasis On Water Survival Skills Introduced
SwimSafer to replace Learn-To-Swim Programme and National Survival Swimming Award, with emphasis on drowning prevention
Singapore, 18 March 2010 - A new national water safety programme, SwimSafer was introduced today with the aim of imparting Singaporeans, especially children, with the necessary water safety knowledge and a wide range of water survival skills as a safeguard against drowning. This came about when the National Water Safety Council (NWSC) called for a review of the existing national water safety programmes in July 2008, and it was construed that a single national framework with an emphasis on drowning prevention was needed.
SwimSafer is an amalgamated and improved version of the Learn-To-Swim Programme (LTSP) and the National Survival Swimming Award (NASSA), and will replace both the latter to be the only national water safety programme. In addition, a programme that instructs both swimming proficiency and water survival skills is necessary in view of more than 65% of drowning incidences in Singapore (from 2005 to 2008) occurring in the seas, rivers and reservoirs.
Commenting on the SwimSafer programme, Dr Teo Ho Pin Chairman of NWSC and Mayor of North West Community Development Council, said, “Water safety awareness and skills are critical in preventing drowning. The SwimSafer programme is a result of a vigorous consultative process with the various stakeholders such as the schools, instructors and parents. I hope that with the introduction of the SwimSafer programme, which is the national gold standard in swimming and water survival proficiency, children of all ages will be equipped with the necessary swimming and water survival skills that will enable them to have a fun and safe swim.”
The SwimSafer programme comprises six stages - SwimSafer Stage 1 and progressively, Stage 2, Stage 3, Bronze, Silver and Gold (refer to Annex A) - that incorporate the essential elements of swimming, water survival and life saving skills to prepare students to react appropriately when faced with sudden and adverse aquatic situations.
These six stages would be taught and tested within the confines of a swimming pool setting. In addition, a separate open water module known as SwimSafer Open Water would be introduced as an entry requirement for water sports entrants. Students who have completed SwimSafer Bronze Stage would be encouraged to take the open water course before venturing into open water sports.
SwimSafer will be rolled out at public swimming pools on 5 July 2010. With this, it would mean that all instructors teaching at any of the Singapore Sports Council’s (SSC) 24 swimming complexes will have to be SwimSafer certified, as well as conducting swimming classes based on the SwimSafer syllabus.
To get instructors SwimSafer certified, the SSC will be holding induction courses for the first batch of 500 instructors registered under the SSC’s Sports and Recreation Centres’ Usage Permit Holders, from April to May 2010. More such courses will be held throughout the year.
“As the lead agency for sports in Singapore, and the largest owner and operator of public swimming pools, the Singapore Sports Council continually strives to provide a safe and enjoyable swimming environment for the public. We see the immense value that the SwimSafer programme can bring to young Singaporeans-that is to allow them to be confident and safe in the waters,” said Mr Kenneth Hui, Chief of Sports Facilities Group, SSC.
For more information on the SwimSafer programme, the public can visit www.sportsingapore.gov.sg or call the hotline at 6500 5439 (operational from 22 March 2010 onwards) from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.
Annex A: Six Progressive Stages of the SwimSafer Programme
Stage 1: Introduction to Water Skills
The objective is for your child to gain confidence and develop independence in the water, as well as learn general and deep-end water safety. Techniques taught include forward and backward movement, entering and exiting the pool safely, and introduction to personal water survival skills.
Stage 2: Fundamental Water Skills
General skills development will include unassisted step entry into water, sculling, feet-first surface dives, personal water safety skills and water safety awareness in an aquatic environment. Your child will be encouraged to achieve 25 metres of continuous swim.
Stage 3: Personal Water Survival and Stroke Developmental Skills
Principles of personal water survival and basic rescue skills will be taught. Your child will demonstrate proficiency in sculling, underwater skills, and the use of a Personal Floatation Device. Your child will be encouraged to achieve 50 metres of continuous swim.
Bronze: Personal Water Survival and Stroke Improvement Skills
Development of your child’s stroke techniques will be a focus here, along with coordinated breathing in deep water while swimming 100 metres. Principles of water craft safety will be introduced, as well as continual work on rescue and personal water survival skills.
Silver: Intermediate Personal Water Survival and Stroke Refinement Skills
Fundamental of diving will be introduced. Development of rescue skills and personal water survival skills also continue at more advanced levels. Your child will be required to demonstrate efficient stroke techniques to complete the Silver stage before progressing to the Gold stage.
Gold: Advanced Personal Water Survival and Swimming Skills Proficiency
Your child will be required to perform strokes with greater ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over 400 metres. Rescue skills and water safety knowledge will focus on lifesaving readiness. Standing dive and advanced personal water survival skills will continue to be taught.
SwimSafer is a new national water safety programme initiated by the National Water Safety Council, in collaboration with the Singapore Sports Council and was launched on 18 March 2010. The six-stage progressive programme will help children of all ages and abilities develop water safety and swimming skills at their own pace through a positive, fun learning experience. SwimSafer is an improvement of the existing National Survival Swimming Award (NASSA) and Learn-To-Swim (LTS) Programme. For more information on the programme, please visit www.sportsingapore.gov.sg.
Have Fun, Swim Safe.
For media enquiries, please contact:
National Water Safety Council
Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports
DID: 6354 8246
Tanty Nazlianah Rosli
Public & Media Relations
Singapore Sports Council
DID: 6500 5241
About the National Water Safety Council, Singapore (NWSC)
The NWSC was appointed by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in 2007 to oversee water safety matters in Singapore. Helmed by Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West Community Development Council and Honorary Advisor to the Singapore Life Saving Society, the NWSC is the national coordinating body in driving and sustaining initiatives overseeing water safety. The Council, appointed on a two-year term, comprises members from the people, private and public sectors. Prior to the SwimSafer, the NWSC had collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Singapore Sports Council to introduce the Learn-To-Swim Programme for primary school students. The Council is currently working with SPRING Singapore and other agencies to develop a Code of Practice for Aquatic Facilities to promote safe water facilities for the public.
About Singapore Sports Council
Formed in 1973, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) is tasked with developing a holistic sports culture for the nation. The SSC creates opportunities for people to excel in sports; opportunities for people to be engaged in sports as, coaches, officials, volunteers or fans; and opportunities for people to do business in sports as sponsors and investors. The SSC has changed the way Singaporeans view and participate in sports. Through sports, we now have an enhanced national identity thanks to our sports participation programmes; greater national pride as a result of high performance results at international and regional games; and more diversified economic stability through our vibrant sports industry initiatives.
To find out more, visit our website www.sportsingapore.gov.sg
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