Kids thrown in the deep end


Their body language and little faces said it all - many of the children taking part in a Safe Boating course last week were clearly out of their comfort zones.

But part of the course was to push them out of their comfort zones while in a safe environment.

The Whitiora Primary School students were participating in the course at Waterworld.

Designed to put children through their paces, the course covers theory and practical aspects of boating safety, such as treading water and experiencing being in deep water fully clothed.

They also become familiar with using life jackets and were taught how to refloat a small, capsized boat.

Waterworld swim school manager Christine Hunger said the course gave children the knowledge skills and attitude to keep themselves safe in a boating situation. "While the activities are fun, they also challenge the children."

The course is run in conjunction with Coastguard Education. Whitiora is the first Hamilton school to join the course which is available to schools participating in Waterworld's schools swim programme.

The course is tailored to the children's skill and learning level.

Christine said it was important that children had water safety awareness. "We have many waterways in the Waikato." Eleven of the country's 93 drownings last year were in the Waikato.

- Hamilton News

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