Donations flood in for kids who can't afford togs

Glen Innes Primary School children are making a splash thanks to donations of togs.
Jessica Shapiro

Glen Innes Primary School children are making a splash thanks to donations of togs.

Children at five Auckland primary schools were missing out on swimming lessons because their families couldn't afford togs.

However, after an online appeal for help, the schools in decile 1 suburbs were blown away by donations of togs for the children.

Glen Innes School principal Jono Hendricks said about 70 of the school's 215 pupils didn't have swimming gear.

"We noticed some of the children trying to swim in school uniforms or rugby shorts.

"One of our main goals is to remove any obstacles that stops them learning."

The children were unable to swim properly in the inappropriate gear or refused to get in the pool because they felt self-conscious, he said.

Kids Breakfast Club helped put an appeal out to the community for donations for the children.

When Hendricks arrived at his school on Friday morning a woman was just dropping off a box of togs her children had outgrown.

It was just one of many donations to the school.

Glen Innes School now has enough togs they can even give some to other needy schools in the area. 

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"It has been truly fantastic. We've been overwhelmed by people's generosity."

The Breakfast Club also thanked its supporters on Facebook, saying five schools in the Glen Innes and Randwick Park area would benefit.

"We have amazing supporters here in New Zealand, who are more than willing to help and make a difference."  

Hendricks said it was important schools taught children to swim given the country's drowning statistics.

The provisional drowning toll for 2015 stands at 113 people, 23 more people than 2014.

Water Safety NZ has been campaigning to keep school pools open so children can learn to swim.

Around 156 school pools have closed in the past six years while another 130 are at risk of being closed.

 - Stuff


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