Surf School Leads the Way in Western Sydney

Secondary school students living in Western and South Western Sydney will have the opportunity to take part in vital surf safety education as part of Surf Life Saving NSW’s (SLSNSW) Surf School during Term 4, 2014.

The Surf School is an initiative fully funded by the NSW Government Water Safety Black Spots Fund with the primary objective to reduce the rate of drowning deaths in NSW by educating youth in surf safety.

Based on residential drowning statistics from 2004-2010, residents from Western Sydney have been identified as having a dramatically increased risk of coastal drowning and death, recording more than twice as many coastal drowning victims as residents in any other area of NSW.

The Surf School is an interactive and information surf safety presentation delivered by enthusiastic and experienced SLSNSW facilitators. To date, more than 2500 Western Sydney high school students have received free Surf Education through SLSNSW's Surf School.

The presentation covers topics such as:

  • General beach safety messages
  • Rip identification
  • Sun smart strategies
  • Dangers of high risk activities such as rock fishing, boating and cliff jumping
  • Using the Beachsafe App

The Surf School will be delivered free of charge to schools and participants and SLSNSW will be travelling to Western Sydney schools providing the presentation and supplying students with a take home education package.

SLSNSW Community Education Officer, Stacey Pidgeon, says initiatives such as these are vital in reducing the drowning toll.

“It is essential that before students living in Western Sydney reach the high risk age of 18, they receive education in the dangers of coastal environments, especially with the summer holidays and things like Schoolies fast approaching” said Ms Pidgeon.

A very successful surf education program held recently in Blacktown in conjunction with Womensport NSW and Blacktown City Council, saw girls from Blacktown high schools learn practical surf safety skills. The program, 'Girls Get Active' also meant students had one on one time with World Champion lifesaving athlete Katie Williams.

Tue 7 Oct 2014