Posted by John Schorr

Oz Swim Aquatics Training Team Visit

The big news for November was the Oz Swim Aquatics of Brisbane Australia Training and International Certification Visit. Our swim instructor teams in Chiang Mai, Phuket, and a visiting team from Siem Riep, Cambodia all received advanced training from Eve Fraser, Director of Oz Swim Aquatics and her team of three internationally recognized swim instructors. In all, 50 Thai and 3 Cambodian swim instructors received advanced training and 20 of those qualified for Swim Australia, Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association International Certification! Our partner Safe Child Thailand sponsored international certification for three of the four lead trainers guiding the CMIRC program expansion to Patong Beach, Lampang, and Phetchabun.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 15 in Thailand. The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club, Kru Payu Swim and Safe Child Thailand Foundation are working together to reduce drowning deaths in Thailand. The Oz Swim Aquatics volunteers with their decades of teaching experience shared a great deal of knowledge and experience with our swim teachers. This will help us do an even better job. In one lesson that I observed, Eve Fraser worked with a municipal school child in our program who was panicked by the water, in the pictures you can see our teachers’ rapt attention as Eve works with the child. That child was back with her school later that week and seemed to be much more relaxed in the water, even enjoying it!

The members of the Oz Swim Aquatic Team traveled at their own expense and provided instruction at no charge. They were in Chiang Mai from November 11 to 17 and then went to Phuket from November 18 to 24. This team has done GREAT WORK! Thank you Oz Swim Aquatics volunteers!! Our swim teachers have learned a lot from you!

Thanks are also due to the Australian Embassy in Thailand and Australian Honorary Consul, Ron Elliott. During their stay in Chiang Mai, Oz Swim Aquatics Team was honored at a special recognition dinner hosted by the Honorary Consul.


Australian Direct Aid Program Grant

More good news with an Australian connection: on Friday, November 23, we received a telephone call from the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, and were told that from the 160+ Australian Aid Program grant applications that they received this year, they have selected fifteen projects to fund. We are very happy to share with you that the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program was one of the projects selected for funding in 2018-2019! This 360,000 Baht grant will enable us to expand our survival swimming and drowning prevention program to the Ban Ya Migrant Learning Centre in Phuket and to the Phrao (in Chiang Mai Province) municipal schools.



Finally, we are working very hard to expand our water safety program committee to Petchabun Province. We have received a large grant from the U.K.-based Safe Child Thailand Foundation and CMIRC member Craig Clark has begun a fundraising campaign in the U.S. A. to ensure that the programs we establish in Petchabun will be sustainable for many years to come. CMIRC member Dr. Narong and Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Chair, P. John are planning a promotional trip to Petchabun next month. The current plan calls for the first pilot project to begin in February.