Refugee swim class wins award

STAFFED by swim teachers and life guards from refugee backgrounds, a Cumberland learn to swim program for refugees has picked up a national award.

A joint initiative of Cumberland Council and Belgravia Leisure, which manages the Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre in Lidcombe, the swim program was named Community Based Initiative of the Year at the 2019 Regional Awards of Excellence by peak body Parks and Leisure Australia.
Mayor Greg Cummings congratulated staff from both organisations for their efforts, saying the win, which was received just ahead of Refugee Week, (June 16-22), was richly deserved.
“The theme for Refugee Week is ‘A world of stories’. The council and Belgravia Leisure’s refugee swim program is just one of the stories that should be shared this week,” he said.
He said many Cumberland residents had little experience of the water and the swim centres had an important role to play in helping them become safe and confident in the water, describing learning to swim at your local pool as “a rite of passage for Australians”.
“Thanks to the refugee swim program, this experience can now be more easily shared by those from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds,” he said.