Couple answer call
Wednesday, 17th February, 2010
Alma Swimming Club members Kym and Glenn Baker will be teaching Vietnam's children how to swim this year after heeding the call from overseas.
The couple noticed an advertisement in a swimming newsletter calling for instructors to travel to Vietnam, and decided to take up the challenge. Drowning is the number one killer of children under the age of 15 in Vietnam, with more than 15,000 deaths recorded every year. About 80 per cent of Vietnam's population live in rural areas where waterways, especially during the wet season, cause severe flooding, increasing potential drowning risks.
Children in remote communities are particularly vulnerable as they often walk or cycle long distances, unaccompanied by adults, to attend school.Kym said she hoped her family's visit to the country could help educate children and prevent some of the tragedies. "We were amazed to find out how many people drown per year and wanted to help out if we could." The Baker family will work at a Children's swimming program based in Hoi An in central Vietnam. They will be joined by local volunteers and instructors from other international locations such as Shanghai and Dubai. The group will work together to deliver a simple program which gives children basic swimming skills and other water safety skills which could help save their lives. Kym and Glenn have been teaching Learn to swim for more than seven years and are both Austswim qualified. Glenn is also a qualified bronze level coach with the Alma Swimming Club.
The Baker's son Liam (7) will also join them on the trip. It is hoped his participation in the programs will help the local children overcome their fear of water. The family will leave the city on Friday, and wished to thank all local clubs and businesses who offered financial support for the trip.