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Keeping kids safe around water

Hundreds of loving parents and caregivers can rest a little easier next summer after 1,353 primary school children ‘graduated’ from this year’s Murray Irrigation Learn to Swim program.

The program is Murray Irrigation’s most significant community funding initiative and this year involved 18 primary schools and four swim clubs from across the company’s operational footprint.

The program covers water safety, swimming, rescue, CPR and survival techniques, with an emphasis on increasing water confidence and awareness.

Murray Irrigation first launched the program in 2003 to help offset the cost of travel, pool entry, equipment, as well as instructor and life guard wages and makes participation more accessible to all local children.

CEO Michael Renehan said the company is committed to the safety of children around water.

“The program was launched by former chairman Bill Hetherington,” Mr Renehan said.

“Bill said recently that he was pleased to see the initiative growing from strength to strength.

“As Australia’s largest private environmental and irrigation water delivery company, we see it as a duty of care to ensure children are safe around water.

“We live in an area where rivers, dams and irrigation channels are part of our everyday environment, so naturally, local children are exposed to water from a young age.

“It’s therefore important that children learn to swim, and the cost of participation should not be a barrier.”