Kenya Swimming Federation (KSF) Kiambu County is seeking to launch a program that would see the sport introduced in institutions mostly public schools at informal sectors and slums across the county.
According KSF Kiambu Executive Committee Member Joseph Ndungu,the move is aimed at ensuring equity in terms of performance at both public and private school level thus giving students an equal opportunity to participate competitively in major championships.
“We need to keep a sustained effort to introduce young children to swimming and drive the important message that learning to swim can save your life,” said Ndungu
The experienced swimming instructor who is leading the learn to swim program amongst the public schools dubbed Swim4Life stated that the end goal of the program is to create real solutions designed to ensure children are safer in the water, especially majority youth who are at a higher risk for drowning.
The program also aim to nurture swimming talent among the kids and support them to become future champions and probably represent the Country in World Aquatics Championships.
“We have noted much enthusiasm and interest boys and girls from public schools in slum sectors have for the game but their ambition to participate in the sport has been thwarted by financial complications and lack of facilities such as swimming pools.Our plan is to introduce equal opportunities and level playing field to all swimmers irrespective of their backgrounds by developing standard swimming infrastructure in the region to serve the public at an affordable rate.We are doing everything to ensure professional coaches are seconded to public schools in a bid to achieve provision of adequate training to learners and also avert cases of kids unsafely drowning due to lack of knowhow in handling the game” he added
Mugomoini Primary School in Kiandutu Slum in Thika is one of the beneficiary of the program and their swimmers who aspire to become future champions managed to participate in Minnows Swimming Championship held over the weekend at Crawford International School.
Seahorses Aquatic Swim Club who were the overall winner of the championship and one of the most successful elite swim clubs training swimmers with national records expressed interest in supporting Mugomoini Primary School with swim wear and training aids through their Corporate Social Responsibility.
The club led by Coach Peter Mwangangi applauded the school and promised to also assist and offer some specialized training to potential swimmers in the primary school through their long term athletes development plan.
The federation’s initiative was prompted after the recent survey by Swimming Stakeholders established that nearly 90% of kids in the country do not know how to swim which is quite a huge risk.