Aquatic Education New Zealand is not just about learn to swim.
Learning to swim is just part of the complex picture of being safe in and around water.
It goes hand in hand with the development of knowledge and critical thinking.
“For many Kiwi kids basic swimming and water safety skills are unknown and that means they are drowning at a completely unacceptable level,” says Bob Harvey, former Waitakere Mayor, chairman of Waterfront Auckland and keen swimmer and surf life-saver.
Bob is proud to be the settlor of the recently established Aquatic Education New Zealand (AENZ) Trust, tasked with placing skill and critical thinking-based initiatives within the reach of school children throughout New Zealand.
The Trust is the formal education delivery arm of WaterSafe Auckland, committed to promoting best practice in the teaching of aquatic education in the formal education sector which includes the Integrated Aquatic Programme (IAP) a holistic approach to aquatic education in New Zealand schools for years 0-8.
WaterSafe Auckland business manager Teresa Stanley says water safety knowledge could prevent around 75 percent of drownings.
”Water safety is about the decisions you make around water and being able to take your skills and thinking processes from a pool into open water where conditions are changeable and risks may not be apparent,” she says. “This type of education really can and does save lives.”
New Zealand schools face many challenges when it comes to the delivery of aquatic education, including the cost of transport, pool entry and lack of pool space, together with the closure of old school pools. AENZ will help to address these issues within the delivery of the Pools2Schools™ initiative.
This takes a heated and covered portable pool, large enough to teach basic swimming and water safety skills, to those schools without access to a pool. Teachers are supported with professional development and classroom resources from the IAP that link to other learning areas of the Curriculum.
The Trust brings together considerable knowledge and expertise from across the formal education and business sectors ensuring long term success and sustainability. Trustees include:
Gordon Paterson (PhD (Human Movement Science); Masters (Physical Education); Honours (Physical Education)) - Education consultant and serves on the Physical Education NZ (PENZ) Executive.
Michael Browne - MD Mobility Research and member of the Business Round Table
Denise Atkins (MEdMgmt (Hons); Dip Tchg) - Consultant to the Ministry of Education on implementing Health and Physical Education in the NZ Curriculum and is Senior Lecturer, School of Sport & Recreation, Faculty of Health & Sciences, AUT University.
Glenn Grey - Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour, Mt Roskill Cluster.
Sandy Harrop (Dep. Rec & Sport; Dip. Adult Ed) - CEO, WaterSafe Auckland.
For more information on the Aquatic Education New Zealand Trust contact Sandy.Harrop@watersafe.org.nz
For resources and professional development opportunities available for schools visit our Education section.