Funds help get sisters swimming skills
EMMA BEER EMMA.BEER@NELSONMAIL.CO.NZ
A new funding project has helped give four Nelson girls the chance to learn important life skills.
Kayla, Paige, Sophie and Jazmine Burgess will have two terms worth of swimming lessons at Riverside Pool thanks to the Sports Nelson Tasman Trust.
They also got their own new pairs of goggles, which they picked up from the pool yesterday.
Their mother, Michelle Landreth, was one of 16 applicants awarded funding from the Sports Nelson Tasman Trust.
The trust was given the go- ahead in August, by the Charities Commission, to offer a minimum of $15,000 every six months to be distributed among sports applicants.
Top of the list for the first round of funding was Ms Landreth, a solo mum who desperately wanted to give her girls the ability to swim.
She said she heard about the funding option from one of the staff members at the pool.
"[Swimming is] a really important life skill. You can't take them to the beach without them knowing how to swim, what if they get knocked over?
"Even in backyard pools, there's too much danger."
The danger of a backyard pool is one Ms Landreth knows all too well. When her youngest daughter, Jazmine, was 9 months old, she was playing around a shallow pool when she was knocked by an older child and fell face down into the water.
"She wasn't down long, but it was enough for her to turn blue and not be OK. Fortunately, it hasn't hampered her confidence around the water at all."
While Jazmine does not seem affected by the incident, her mother said she was still nervous watching her near water, even during swimming lessons.
All four girls were sporty and loved trying new things, especially swimming, she said.
They had gone to some swimming lessons last term, but Ms Landreth said with four children, affording swim lessons was not an option. It would cost about $400 per term for her to have sent all four girls, she said.
"Their confidence has just gone up so much [from a few lessons]."
The girls were excited to pick up their goggles, with Jazmine particularly taken with the purple goggles she picked out.
Kayla, 8, said she was excited to be going back to lessons.
"I can make it to the other end of the pool, I'm definitely going up [a class] next term."
Sophie, 6, said she liked that you could have so much fun while learning to swim.
Ms Landreth said she was incredibly grateful to the Sports Nelson Tasman Trust for approving her application.
Trustees from Sports Nelson Tasman considered each of the 36 applications individually, judging them on their merits and looking to encourage participation.
They also took into account whether a grant would relieve poverty, further sports education and/or was beneficial to the wider community.
Other applicants included funding for two Burmese boys to attend their school's football tournament in Auckland, money to help buy a bike for a 14-year-old who survived a life-threatening illness, and five mountainbikes for Nelson Intermediate School to start a club.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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