In conjunction with the Ipswich City Council, Just Sports n Fitness and the Goodna Aquatic centre have opened our swimming doors to a group of Sudanese families from the Fernbrooke Community Hub.
The learn to swim and water familiarisation program has been designed specifically for this group. A number of the group had never had a swimming lesson before whilst for some, it had been over 18 years since their last time swimming. Although unsure and nervous, all the ladies embraced the experience of swimming with their willingness and enthusiasm to learn clear for all to see.
The slight language barrier didn’t deter and the ladies brought laughter and fun to the lesson, some of us almost forgetting that many of the ladies had never been in the water before. By the end of the session, there were ladies swimming 10 metres unassisted and other ladies picking up sink toys from the bottom of the pool, something which far exceeded all expectations.
As for the children, well they had only been exposed to swimming lessons a couple of times during school. They were relaxed, inquisitive and willing to learn. They did everything that was asked of them, putting eyes in the water, kicking their legs, floating on their backs. The trust they put in the instructors while their mums were swimming was outstanding and watching them progress in only 45 minutes was extraordinary.
It was an amazing experience for the staff at Goodna and an absolute honour to spend time with these ladies and their children. Seeing their progress and sharing their growth is an achievement in itself. The program will continue until Christmas and resume in the new year.