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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Outrigger and Shane Gould help save Fijian lives with swim campaign













Olympic gold medallist Shane Gould has joined with Outrigger on the Lagoon.Fiji in a bid to prevent accidental drownings among local residents in Fiji.

In conjunction with the resort, Shane and husband Milt Nelms have devised a program of free swimming and water safety lessons for villagers as part of a pilot scheme aimed at saving lives.

Peter Hopgood, General Manager of Outrigger on the Lagoon.Fiji said he was thrilled that two professionals such as Shane Gould and Milt Nelms were able to contribute to the project.

"In my four years in Fiji, far too many children have died from drowning and we need to do something to stop these tragic and preventable deaths," he said.

The scheme, titled the Fiji Community Drowning Prevention Program, is being offered initially to the Coral Coast villages of Malevu and Korotogo, home to most of the staff employed at Outrigger on the Lagoon.Fiji.

Nelms, a world expert on swimming technique whose clients have included Ian Thorpe, said Fijians were naturally athletic.

"However, they haven't been shown how to swim without using so much energy that it is impossible to stay afloat for even a reasonably short period of time.

"We look forward to showing the people of Malevu and Korotogo a new way to swim that is so much more relaxed," he said.

Gould said the program was not about producing champions. "It's about general water safety, developing life skills and meeting the demand for better swimmers by the nation's expanding tourism industry," she said.

Gould lived much of her childhood in Fiji, learning to swim at the Nadi Airport pool before winning three gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The scheme is also being supported by Pacific Islands Trade & Invest, an arm of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat based in Fiji, and the Australian High Commission.

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