Last week Friday (24/07/2020) saw the conclusion of the Water Safety, Basic Rescue Skills and Outrigger Canoeing Awareness Workshop in Lami, Suva. The 3 day workshop was the 4th workshop in a four part awareness and education program facilitated by Let’s Swim Fiji and in collaboration with Fiji Swimming (FS), Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC), Fiji Outrigger Canoe Racing Association and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism’s Department of Co-operative Business.

Water Safety, Basic Rescue and Risks in and around Water were some of the topics covered during the 3 days with the inclusion of written assessments and lesson planning.

“We’ve had various areas around Fiji put forth their application and interests for similar workshops to be conducted in their various villages and communities as well. Areas like Levuka, Labasa, Yasawa and Naitasiri even”Amelia Naivalu (Fiji Swimming Program Manager)

This comes after a successful 4-week program that saw the workshop reach communities like Muanikau, Raiwaqa, Vatuwaqa, Muana Village, Nausori, Namono, Nakasi, Nadali, Burebasaga, Davuilevu, Tamavua Area and the greater Lami communities.

“I am grateful for Fiji Swimming for teaching us a life skill and coming out to our community to do so”Natalia Vadei (Workshop Participant)

Fiji Outrigger Canoe Racing Association representative Moala Tokota’a had said that the workshop was not only the perfect platform to create awareness for the sport of Outrigger Canoeing but it also opened our eyes to basic water safety skills for the paddlers that were in attendance.

Our beautiful country of Fiji is surrounded by water and it is surprising to know that most Fijians have problems with learning to swim. Programs and workshops such as this empower swimmers and non-swimmers a like.

“I am proud to tell my father that I am more confident now out at sea because of the safety skills that I have learnt throughout these three days” – Misinare Baleira (Workshop Participant)

What particularly stood out for most of the participants were the practical’s and the chance to get into an Outrigger Canoe. The second workshop in Rewa and the fourth workshop in Lami were particularly unique as their practical and paddling experience was done in the Rewa River and in the ocean next to Novotel in Lami respectively.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants were awarded with a Certificate of Participation.

“Before attending the workshop, I knew how to swim but now I know how to survive if I ever got stranded out at sea or in a river” – Brandon Shudhakar (Workshop Participant)

Story by: Fiji Swimming (27/07/2020)

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