Tonga Celebrates World Aquatics Day 2017
Written by Mele Taunisila
Despite the wintery weather, Pelehake Village celebrated completing their 6-week Learn to Swim Program over the weekend with a fun day and barbeque at Fua’amotu Beach. This day also marked the graduation of 5 Pelehake residents who learned to become swimming teachers under the Let’s Swim program, funded by the Australian Governemnt.
Tonga Swimming and Aquatics Association (TSAA) have been promoting water safety and training swim teachers in villages all around Tongatapu over the past year with the support of the Australian funded Pacific Sports Partnership.
‘There is no more appropriate way to mark World Aquatics Day than giving people the gift of being able to have fun and be active in the water. TSAA wants all Tongans to be able to enjoy and stay safe in our beautiful oceans, whether they want to go to the Olympics one day or just cool off in the summer’ TSAA President James Panuve said. ‘I am excited that there are now even more teachers trained to pass this gift to future generations of Tongans.’
Ms. Mele Taunisila, Swimming Officer with TSAA noted that ‘unfortunately, there are still a number of drowning events every year here in Tonga. It is so important for all children to learn how to swim and enjoy the water safely. It has been a pleasure to watch these teachers go from learning to be confident in the water themselves to leading swimming training for kids here in Pelehake, everyone is really loving the water now!’
TSAA encourages any individuals interested in running a swimming program in their village to get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.