Saturday , December 2 2023

St. Eustatius and Saba now have entry-level swimming instructors

­Swimming lessons have also started again in St. Eustatius with the start of the new school year. Nine new swimming instructors are being trained to further develop the school swim­ming programme and to set up additional swimming ac­tivities for young and old in Statia and Saba.

Swimming lessons have been given in Statia since the summer of 2005. The Child Focus Foundation sports coordinator joined the programme to further develop swimming in Saba. In Saba swimming lessons are offered during school holidays. During the recent summer vacation swimming instructors Carlos Lopes and Teady Euson of St. Eustatius Sport Facilities Foundation visited Saba, resulting in 30 children and 18 adults receiving their A, B and C diplomas.

A new swimming instructor (left) ‘rescuing’ swim coach Carlos Lopes.

Certified swim teacher Marouschka Rijnhout came to Statia in the first two weeks of September to work with Statia and Saba swimming instructors for 10 days to improve their knowledge and teaching skills in swimming instruc­tion and rescue swimming. Second and third training weeks will take place later this school year so that each of the swimming instructors can obtain full certification recognised by the Royal Dutch Swimming Associa­tion KNZB. The training also included rescue swim­ming.

This initiative is a joint ef­fort between the public en­tities Saba and St. Eustatius together with St. Eustatius Sports Facilities Founda­tion and St. Eustatius Swimming Association as part of the recently signed memorandum of under­standing between Saba and Statia to combine efforts, network and knowledge to strengthen sports on both islands.

The Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport and KNZB are involved, with the ministry contrib­uting financially under the sports and preven­tion agreements that were closed with both islands in 2019.

Under the programme, Statia now has eight new entry-level swimming in­structors and Saba has one instructor. The Sports Foundation conveyed its congratulations to all par­ticipants and said it is look­ing forward to the second week of training in April 2022.

Swimming lessons in Sta­tia are given 3:00-5:00pm on Tuesday and Friday.

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