Community Drowning Prevention with Olympic Swim Champion

CAPTION: Former Olympic gold medalist Australian swimmer Shane Gould gets out of the pool after her 50M Butterfly heat at the Olympic Swimming trials at the Sydney Aquatic Centre in April, 2004.

Three time Australian Olympic swimming gold medalist Shane Gould and Milton Nems (top swim technician) will be in the country next week to conduct a Fiji community drowning prevention program at the Coral Coast.

Ms. Gould will conduct these clinics with villages along the Coral Coast from the 4-12 August.

The pair have been conducting these swim programs since 2005 and have travelled around Viti Levu teaching proper swimming techniques to volunteers.

Hosted by the Outrigger on the Lagoon · Fiji, Ms. Gould and Mr. Nems will work with teenage volunteers, villagers and young children learning to swim.

The program has been designed for Fiji to generate the maximum results with limited resources:

  1. Recognising that Fijians are naturally athletic people who quickly copy techniques shown to them in the water;
  2. Recognising that there is not sufficient infrastructure of either swimming pools or the education system to facilitate a program that would work in developed countries;
  3. Encouraging tourist resorts throughout Fiji to take responsibility for the water safety at the villages from which they draw the bulk of their staff by:
  • Establishing a village ‘safe swimming area’ with simple and inexpensive rescue and safety equipment, such as floats tied to a tree that can be thrown to a struggling swimmer and a bell to raise alarm;
  • Ensuring that water sports staff attend training sessions conducted by Shane and Milt to become accredited and in turn to pass on their knowledge to the people of the local villages; and
  • Encouraging general staff to attend swimming clinics conducted by Shane and Milt.

The program will also include sessions with the activities staff of the Outrigger Fiji who are responsible for the water safety of their guests.

Outrigger on the Lagoon · Fiji General Manager Peter Hopgood said the drowning statistics in the country has been alarming over the years and the resort felt it had an obligation to hold a program which focuses on drowning preventions.

“We’re delighted to be able to invite Shane Gould and Milton Nems to conduct this program to help our young people on the Coral Coast learn drowning prevention techniques”, Mr. Hopgood stated.

“A larger number of our employees are sourced from the neighbouring villages and we feel that it is our responsibility to ensure that our workers are safe in waters that surround their villages”, he stated.

Outrigger on the Lagoon · Fiji was recognised as the Best Deluxe Accommodation in Fiji at the 2012 AON Excellence in Tourism awards, as well as the Best Fine Dining Restaurant for it’s Ivi Restaurant.

The resort prides itself on delivering all the luxury of a five star property with the unforgettable warmth only found in a traditional Fijian village.

Visit the Outrigger on the Lagoon ∙ Fiji website ( to find out more about our premium services.


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