LSV and YMCA Victoria are looking forward to another exciting year of collaboration, with their partnership to deliver the Open Water Learning Experience (OWLE) program at YMCA Victoria camps continuing into 2017.
Now in its seventh year, the partnership continues to grow and further develop, with over 10,000 YMCA camp visitors taking part in the OWLE program since the project began.
LSV’s Education Services Coordinator Melissa Laird said the partnership is a great example of collaboration between agencies to achieve a common goal.
“Our focus is on ensuring the Victorian community is receiving vital water safety and lifesaving information,” she said.
“Partnering with YMCA Victoria increases the opportunity for us to ensure people, especially children, recreate safely in, on and around all aquatic environments.”
To ensure key safety messages and program updates are conveyed, LSV delivers training sessions to the YMCA Camp OWLE instructors.
YMCA Camp Manager Jai Marchinton said the OWLE program has continued to grow in popularity and has been a great success within YMCA camps over the past six years, with a large number of participants completing coastal or inland sessions.
“Our camps draw schools from all over Victoria, and teachers recognize the value in the OWLE program, especially for schools from regional or urban areas, so we are able to educate a wide range of children about the importance of water safety,” he said.
“Children love the OWLE program; they enjoy having fun in the water while learning invaluable lessons in water safety. Importantly, the kids are absorbing these water safety messages and taking them home, back to their families and local communities.
“The partnership between YMCA and LSV has meant that more Victorian children have access to the program which is great. Kids are being taught what are very important – and potentially lifesaving – skills in open water environments.”
The OWLE program is running at YMCA Camps across the state including Camp Manyung, Phillip Island Coastal Discovery Camp, Anglesea Recreation Camp, Mt Evelyn Recreation Camp and Lady Northcote Recreation Camp.