The Sooke Lions Club is once again funding introductory swimming lessons for all Grade 2 students in Sooke.
According to Al Beddows, Lions immediate past district governor, the program began over 10 years ago in response to teenage deaths at the Sooke Potholes.
“We thought that if you teach the kids at Grade 2, which seemed to be the optimal time to teach them how to swim, that when they became older they would have the skills to save their own lives.”
The Lions supplied around $6,000 to local elementary schools for the program this year. They do not play a role in co-ordinating the program.
“When we do some of these programs, we really don’t want to get in the day-to-day managing of it. We’ll just fund it and leave it up to the professionals,” Beddows said.
“They arrange for buses, pay SEAPARC, and they take the kids down there for swimming lessons through the course of the year.”
Beddows added the Lions hope to continue the program into the future, funding permitting.
“We believe in this program and every year we get some really nice feedback from the kids.
“That’s in our mandate, to help the young people of our community. And that’s money raised in Sooke and we spend it here.”
The Lions also fund programming to send students from Port Renfrew swimming and skating in Sooke.