by Mele Taunisila
Tonga Swimming and Aquatics Association (TSAA) has increased the number of participation programs on the main island of Tonga through the Australian Government supported Pacific Sports Partnership program, Let’s Swim.
The federation has been able to dedicate a team of staff to focus on programs in schools, villages and communities.
Acts Community School (ACTS) has been one of the big success stories.
Initially, ACTS tried to run swim programs as a part of the school in 2014.
The program was run by local swim club and it catered for only a small portion of the school students, only about 30 students.
Through the Pacific Sport Partnership program delivered by Tonga Swimming toward the end of 2016, staff delivered a two day Let’s Swim theory course followed by over 20 hours of supervised mentoring to the school teachers in quality swim instruction.
ACTS school has able to expand their program to the entire school.
ACTS and Tonga Swimming ran a high school swim program from October – December 2016 resulting in a carnival. 29 out of 36 students progressed up a level in the OSA Let’s Swim learn to swim curriculum, a 6 level learn to swim program.
Currently ACTS is on the verge of completing the primary school 8 weeks swim program from Class 1 to Class 6 leading up to the School Carnival.
We hope to see more schools integrate learn to swim in their physical education.
Thanks to the Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association and Craig Tobin, seven boxes of kickboards were sent across to Tonga to help staff run outreach programs like the ACTS school program in many other communities around Tonga