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Water safety focus

Murray Irrigation has launched its annual Learn to Swim sponsorship program which aims to keep children safe around water.

More than 1,550 children participated in the program last season with $15,520 donated to local schools and swim clubs to help fund approved swim programs within the region.

Murray Irrigation Executive General Manager Water Delivery, Scott Barlow, said the company is committed to the safety of children around water. “As an irrigation delivery company that services 2,164 farms in southern NSW, we see it as a duty of care to ensure children are safe around water,” Mr Barlow said.

“Living in an area where rivers, dams and irrigation channels are part of our everyday environment, water safety is a necessary skill for our children.

“As part of this proactive approach to water safety, we provide annual sponsorship of learn to swim programs for schools and swimming clubs in our area of operation.”

Sponsorship funds are used to cover travel cost, pool entry fees, equipment, as well as instructor and life guard wages. Lessons focus on teaching children about water safety, swimming, rescue, CPR and survival techniques, with an emphasis on increasing water confidence and awareness.

The program has been running each year since 2003. “Last year’s program attracted 1,552 participants, so it’s quite popular,” Mr Barlow said. “It’s important that children learn to swim, and the cost of participation should not be a barrier. “Our funding helps to lower the cost of the programs and make them accessible to all,” Mr Barlow said.

Murray Irrigation also offers a general sponsorship program which includes both financial and in-kind support for organisations and activities that enhance, promote and embed safety and wellbeing within local communities. The 2018/19 sponsorship application process opens 1 March 2018.