Contact Energy will continue to fund the AC Baths learn to swim programme, with the launch of the Contact Swim Well Taupō which will enable thousands of children to attend swim classes in the Taupō district.
The Honourable Hekia Parata, Acting Minister of Energy and Associate Minister ACC sounded the fog horn and 24 children jumped in the water at the AC Baths Taupō, marking the launch of Contact Swim Well Taupō: a swim programme that will teach thousands of children to swim for free over the next year.
Swim For Life Taupō (now Contact Swim Well Taupō) were the winners of Contact’s 2010 “What does Taupō need” promotion, which canvasses community opinion on the most effective and meaningful way the company could get involved in supporting the community.
“Last year around 3,600 children were taught to swim and more than 60 new swim instructors were trained, so we’re delighted with what the programme has achieved so far and are pleased to sign up for another 12 months,” says Contact Energy’s Community Relations Manager, Craig Griffiths.
This year, Contact will invest $100,000 into the programme, which features both learn to swim and water safety components and Contact Swim Well Taupō will deliver these crucial life skills to children across the Taupō, Turangi and Mangakino region.
“Like the community we feel it is important that children are taught essential water safety and swimming skills particularly in an area dominated by Lake Taupō and the Waikato River. As we develop our next wave of geothermal generation in the Wairakei area it is appropriate that we help develop and keep Taupō’s next generation safe,” says Mr Griffiths.
Mayor of Taupō, Rick Cooper, thanked Contact for their generous support of the programme and reminded everyone of the dangers of being unprepared in the water. “In my time as Mayor there have been three drownings in the Waikato River alone, so we cannot underestimate the importance of these crucial life skills.”
AC Baths Aquatics & Fitness Manager, Virginia Munro, says the successful partnership of Lake Taupō Sports Advisory, Taupō District Council and major sponsor Contact Energy has been important in removing some of the barriers of local schools in assisting with this programme.
“Our purpose is to ensure every child by the age of 12 can swim confidently and has the associated survival skills and understand key water safety. We believe this is a basic skill that all New Zealanders should have so it’s great to see that we have the support of our local community,” says Ms Munro. “I’m thrilled that this wonderful programme is now able to continue.”