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Water safety volunteers champion water safety

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Singaporeans love getting into the water. But whether you are an Olympic medallist like a certain Mr Joseph Schooling or someone just learning to swim, there are precautions that you should take to make swimming safer.

The water safety champions program was initiated to to train a group of volunteers on the finer points of water safety. These volunteers then use their knowledge to educate members of the public at the various ActiveSG swimming complexes in Singapore during their attachments.

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The water safety champions program was initiated to to train a group of volunteers on the finer points of water safety. Photo: Sport Singapore

Director, Safety Management at SportSG Miss Delphine Fong says that this preventative measure ensures that our public swimming pools continue to be safe spaces for people of all ages to enjoy.

“Water safety is a complex topic and many Singaporeans are unfamiliar with the risks associated with water,” she said. “We conduct training for the volunteers in areas such as water safety, CPR and AED.”

With the knowledge gleaned from the theory lessons, the volunteers are dispatched to the various ActiveSG swimming complexes to spread the message of water safety.

Part-time teacher Vivian Tan says that nearly drowning on several occasions and witnessing one of her students almost drown spurred her to join the program.

“I really enjoy interacting with the public and sharing with them the safety tips,” said Tan

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Water safety champions. Photo: Sport Singapore

Armed with their smiles and flashcards that read “always check pool depth”, “swim with a buddy”, “be careful of wet and slippery surfaces” the water safety champions speak to members of the public at the swimming complexes to reinforce these safety messages which are often overlooked.

But education is not their only remit, the water safety champions have also been trained to spot swimmers in distress and to alert the lifeguards if they see someone who may be drowning.

If someone is retrieved from the water by a lifeguard, the water safety champions spring into action to assist the lifeguards with resuscitation efforts.

Despite all the training that the water safety champions go through, Tan puts it succinctly when she says: “I have all the skills but I hope I never have to use them!”