Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is encouraging children and their parents to take advantage of a $250,000 swimming initiative which could save lives.

Ms Cooke said children across the Cootamundra electorate will now have access to swimming lessons and better rescue resources thanks to funding from the NSW Government’s Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program.

‘The Royal Life Saving Society has received a quarter of a million dollars from the NSW Government to deliver the ‘Swim and Survive’ course, and I’m so proud of the support we’ve been able to provide Royal Life Saving so they can work with locally trained swimming instructors to deliver life-saving lessons for kids,” Ms Cooke said.

Ms Cooke encouraged parents to involve their children in the program and enhance their basic water safety skills while enjoying the warmer weather.

“This program will equip children aged from six to 14 with the tools needed to be water smart this summer,” Ms Cooke said.

“It’s not just about swimming lessons – the children will also learn basic rescue and survival skills so it’ll give them a well-rounded experience to keep them safe this summer.

“While there’s often a focus on our coastline, we know that inland waterways can be just as treacherous, so it’s important to deliver these lessons at a young age.”

The Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program prioritises initiatives that target high-risk groups and locations, identified in research undertaken by Royal Life Saving Society Australia.

For more information on the grant application process or the NSW Be Water Safe. Not Sorry water safety campaign, visit: www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au.

For more information on water safety programs, visit www.royallifesaving.com.au.