SISTERS Nur Dafinah Mohd Najib, eight, and Nur Dania Mohd Najib, 11, who used to be afraid of the water, are swimming with confidence after joining a basic swimming and life-saving programme at the MBPP Relau Sports Complex in Bayan Lepas.
Dania said she enjoyed her time in the water a lot.
“It is not that scary after you learn how to swim and float in the water.
“We also get to learn the different styles of swimming and how to keep calm when we are in the water,” she said at a recent session.
Dafinah and Dania were among 64 participants, aged seven to 13, at the programme organised by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Butterworth Life Saving Society (BLSS).
MBPP councillor Gerald Mak Mun Keong said the programme was aimed at introducing awareness towards water safety to prevent drowning cases.
“Besides that, the programme taught children about basic swimming styles and how to react when facing an emergency in the water.
“At present, the community lacks awareness on water safety aspects while indulging in water activities,” he said during the programme’s closing ceremony.
He said the Water Activity Safety Council reported that about 500 children died of drowning every year.
“The number of deaths due to drowning is high because victims sometimes try to save their drowning friends, causing the death risk to double,” he said.
BLSS founder and executive adviser Datuk Ooi Win Juat said he hoped more people would acquire swimming skills to safeguard themselves.
“It is important for people to learn basic water safety and swimming skills so that they can be confident in the water,” he said.
During the programme, the children were taught basic styles like freestyle, breaststroke and survival strokes.
The programme was organised for children from families in the B40 group.
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