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Only One In Ten Taught To Swim

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Algernon Cargill

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Swimming Federation president Algernon Cargill wants a national programme to teach people how to swim, saying government research shows fewer than 10 percent of Bahamians can swim to save their lives.

Six locals have drowned this month. Many of them have been young, including 15, 16 and 19-year-old men. 

That is the most Mr Cargill can recall drowning in such a small period of time.

“This has never happened before,” he said. “My son went to Cornell University and for him to graduate and get a diploma he had to be able to swim to both ends of the pool. Same thing with Columbia University, you have to be able to swim. If universities could do it, it should trickle down to high school as a skill you have to have. We need to take it seriously.”

He added: “We have an initiative organized by Swift Swimming where they teach primary school students from several public schools how to swim for free and this has been going on for seven, eight years, but overall there is a concern that more residents don’t know how to swim, particularly because we’re a nation surrounded by water?” People can learn to swim to save their lives while in elementary school but Mr Cargill said existing programmes are a “drop in the bucket” in terms of how many youth they cover.

“There is a limited amount of pools, limited amount of resources and swimming, unfortunately, has this stigma of being an elitist sport and is a lot more difficult to implement than track and field where you could just go and run outside so a lot more resources are necessary but we do have an opportunity to reduce this factor,” he said. 

His organisation, he added, would be ready to facilitate an expanded swimming programme.

“We are a governing body for aquatics sports but we would be willing to partner with the Ministry of Education or any other agency that wants to sponsor a learning programme,” he said. 

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to do it.”

Comments

The_Oracle 3 months, 1 week ago

Wow, Strong entry, great point, Pathetic exit! AKA someone else aught to......... This subject has come up repeatedly over the last few decades, efforts at some schools have improved the numbers of swimming Bahamians, especially at pre-school levels. I know we used to have the Royal Lifesaving Society courses, I did them.

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sealice 3 months, 1 week ago

this is the epitome of the PLP and FNM successive governments failure to educate our children both mentally and physically = We are a nation of islands and over over 90% of the population can't swim or is terrified of the ocean.....

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moncurcool 3 months, 1 week ago

So it is the fault of the government that people cannot swim?

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shonkai 3 months, 1 week ago

“There is a limited amount of pools, limited amount of resources and swimming, unfortunately, has this stigma of being an elitist sport and is a lot more difficult to implement than track and field where you could just go and run outside so a lot more resources are necessary but we do have an opportunity to reduce this factor,” he said. Can't you just go out and swim on all sides of the island then?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

In answer to your question: You can't swim on all sides of an island when you're terrified at the thought of being eaten by a big shark. LMAO

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Clamshell 3 months, 1 week ago

“There is a limited amount of pools, limited amount of resources ...”

Oh, good grief! It’s a freakin’ ISLAND! Arguing that you need a swimming pool to learn how to swim is like arguing that you need a sidewalk to learn how to walk.

Is there no end to ... stupid?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

See my comment immediately above. ROWL

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TalRussell 3 months, 1 week ago

Government efforts and funding be best directed for the recruitment Toilet Policeman's in shaming populaces, not be using side we roads and buildings as their personal toilets, yes, no ... Also, start program discourage tourists from peeing we waters .... the increase Shark biting may be from unbalancing chemicals they thinking related the millions tourist peeing we waters .....

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Porcupine 3 months, 1 week ago

Government or no government, it should be a national priority. Learning how to swim should not be an option. It is easy, fun, and often necessary for survival.

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mandela 3 months, 1 week ago

Just make it mandatory all students leaving primary schools should have learned how to swim. At the age of 7, all my 5 kids knew how to swim. The earlier taught the better.

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BahamaRed 3 months, 1 week ago

Maybe they need to support non-profit programmes like Let's Swim Bahamas. A programme that is designed to teach government primary school children how to swim- free of charge.

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