House debates

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Constituency Statements

Ford Electorate: Sport

10:35 am

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

One of the great things that unites communities is sport, and in the past week or so, in partnership with the Logan City Council, the federal government has announced a $644,000 investment through the Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity Program. In partnership with Logan City Council, this is focused around swimming skills. One of the reasons this is really important in Logan is the City of Logan is a truly diverse community with over 217 cultures represented, and one of the best ways for those various cultures to get involved in our community is through sports and physical activity.

The grant will allow for free swimming lessons over the next two years for refugee, migrant, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people older than 16. This will not only help efforts to reduce drowning rates but it will also offer the participants the chance to make friends and feel a sense of and be a part of our community. The focus of the adult swimming lessons is important, because children generally at school today have swim lessons through school, whereas adults have limited ability to take those swimming lessons.

I want to thank Logan City Council for its initiative to put in place the Logan swim program. In addition to providing the free swimming lessons, it also offers free transport and supervised activities for the children, to support their parents' access to these sessions. The sense of joy and happiness that people get from sport was on full display at the classes I saw last week at the Gould Adams Park Aquatic Centre. The students all looked as if they were having a hugely enjoyable time being in the water together; and although it might have been helped by the fact that it was a typical hot summer's day in Queensland, it was a fantastic example of the value of these types of programs. The program is provided by bilingual swim teachers and also offers first aid and CPR training. Importantly, it also offers opportunities for participants to upskill as pool instructors, which is expected to provide future employment pathways.

Royal Lifesaving research shows that most drownings occur in the summer months and that the risk of drowning increases during public and summer holidays. Coming into the holiday season, it's especially important to see these programs up and running, and it's fantastic to see our migrant, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities gaining the confidence to enjoy an active lifestyle that we all enjoy in this beautiful country of ours.