Nereids Aquatic Coaching Became A Culturally Qualified Centre02/11/2021 | Written by Nikos Kaskaras in News
In all businesses and organisations, there are moments of joy and pride that make all hard work pay. Such a moment is the one we are all enjoying in Nereids, and we are delighted to share it with all you: Nereids Aquatic Centre became a culturally qualified centre. This is a great moment for Nikos Vasilellis, the founder of Nereids and its hard-working personnel. Of course, the trust and recognition we gain from our students is the necessary prerequisite for all good things to happen. Then again, the philosophy and values of Nereids Aquatic Centre were always targeting to this goal: To provide the best possible swimming lessons to all people in need while at the same time form strong and true relationships of trust with all our students.
Achieving the provision of swimming lessons to all cultures of Australia
In Nereids, we have a certain and unquestionable set of values: We believe in equality among people, we promote the mentality of “believing and achieving” and we strongly encourage people from different cultures to take the first step and explore the majesty of swimming. Nikos Vasilellis comes from a culturally diverse community himself since he was born and raised in Greece, but this is not the only reason for feeling greatly proud of our achievement. As you know, ancient Greece was the birthplace of philosophy and democracy. Isocrates, one of the great orators of the time was once speaking about the issue of who was merited to be considered as Greek and argued that “Greeks are the ones who assimilate the Greek culture”. Paraphrasing his words, we could argue that swimmers are all these people who share the values of swimming and pay absolute respect to one another. It's exactly this belief that all people regardless of their race and cultural backgrounds should learn how to swim safely, that drives the daily ambition of all the Nereids personnel.
The cultural inequalities of drownings in Australia
Our world has never been an equal one, and the same applies when the discussion comes to the drownings in Australia. Data are indeed striking: A 10-year study of drowning deaths in Australia from 2004 to 2015 by Royal Life Saving Australia has revealed that 30 per cent of those who drowned were born overseas. Additionally, its latest report on the issue in 2019 reveals that swimming skills and water safety knowledge among overseas visitors are known to be less robust than those who have grown up in Australia.
We should also add to the equation, that indigenous people are 2.4 per cent of the total population of Australia. In numbers, this is about 460.000 out of 22 million people who consist of the whole population of the country. Furthermore, according to the 2011 census, 26% of the population were born overseas, with a further 20% having at least one parent born overseas.
In simple words, these data illustrate that Australia is the definition of a multicultural country. The diversity of people living in the country is one of the primary reasons for Australia's growth and prosperity. This is a fact that the vast majority of residents in Australia recognise:
The 2015 Mapping Social Cohesion found that 86 per cent of Australians agree that multiculturalism has been good for the country and this level of the agreement had been constant for the following years. Losing people from drowning is a tragedy that can be avoided. And this is where Royal Life Saving plays a crucial role.
Royal Life Saving is a pioneer in the prevention of drownings in Australia
Royal Life Saving is among the most established and respected institutions in Australia. Not without a cause: Founded back in 1894, it is focusing on reducing drowning and promoting healthy, active and skilled communities. It also provides the annual national drowning report that is extremely helpful for defining the issues that need to be addressed and deciding the most appropriate policies for dealing with them. Its vision is sound and undisputed: A water-loving nation free from drowning. This is a vision that we share in Nereids and the trust of Royal Life Saving to our Centre makes us happy. It was Royal Life Saving's findings of the greater aquatic dangers that culturally diverse people face, that led to the Cultural Competency Program, in which we are now proud members.
Why is it important for culturally diverse people to learn how to swim
The official data of Royal Life Saving in regards to the issue is striking: 4 in 5 multicultural people who drowned in New South Wales between July 2013 and June 2018 were poor or non-swimmers. Another research showed that many migrants and refugees who arrived in the country had no water safety education. Furthermore, in a Symposium that was organised in 2019 by the Australian Water Safety Council, there was a special reference on the Royal Life Saving Report “A 10-year national study of overseas-born drowning deaths in Australia”. The report found, among other very interesting facts, that the highest number of overseas-born drowning deaths occurred among people born in:
- China (10%)
- New Zealand, England and South Korea (6% each)
When analysed by the population living in Australia (100,000), the populations found to be at highest risk of drowning were:
- Taiwan (4.70),
- South Korea (4.24)
- Ireland (2.75)
The same report found that emerging groups for drowning are recent arrivals (<5 years) and international students.
It is therefore essential for all culturally diverse people living in Australia to learn how to swim and prevent from possible dangers.
Nereids Aquatic Center is now a Culturally Qualified Centre and our certified swim instructors gain all the practical skills and cultural-specific knowledge for learning to all our students from all nationalities how to swim. Because safety for all people comes before anything else.