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Tipperary Station School makes a splash in the community

 Children Swimming at Tipperary Station School

Image: Students at Tipperary’s local swimming pool

Students at Tipperary Station School are a whole lot more confident about their swimming skills following their terms three and four Swimming Australia program through Sporting Schools.

Tipperary Station School is a small, remote primary school located on a cattle station in which the Daly and Adelaide rivers, are 35km and 55km away respectively. Swimming though is not so easy when the surrounding rivers, according to the school’s website are “home to both freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, barramundi, sharks and of course the critically endangered Largetooth Sawfish.

Jaki Ryan, a teacher at Tipperary Station School said it was a delight for their children to be able to take part in an activity not readily available to them.

"Some of the kids have never had swimming lessons before and considering the Northern Territory has the highest rate of drownings per 100,000, this is a fabulous initiative,” Jaki said.

"The Sporting Schools program was an excellent opportunity for students, teachers and communities to come together in a fun and social sporting environment."

The school also used the funding to complete the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) Swim Australia Teacher course which helped them to train their own staff as swimming and water safety teachers and enabled them to run the program.

“We invited small, remote neighbouring schools that do not have access to a swimming pool or safe waterhole to join the program as well because our school has a keen interest in sport and culture and we regularly socialise with our neighbouring schools to attend school sports and cultural events.”

Teachers from neighbouring schools were also invited to attend the coaching course, run by Swimming Australia’s Indigenous Program Coordinator, Peter Tonkin.

There has been great feedback from the schools involved who are very keen to participate next year. Other schools from surrounding areas are also showing an interest in Sporting Schools.

Tipperary Station School is now looking at future programs and ways to develop a swimming club.

Overall, the swimming program was a great success and “the kids and teachers absolutely loved it!”

Sporting Schools is a $100 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a Swimming program at your school? Check out all the details on the Swimming Australia page.

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