The Swim Brothers organisation has seen its second group of candidates complete their bronze medallion, with the Muslim men becoming certified lifesavers at Wanda Beach Cronulla on August 13.
Swim Brothers educates men from culturally and linguistically diverse communities on water safety and improving swimming ability. Members of the program are encouraged to complete their bronze medallion and become volunteer lifesavers after graduating from the program.
Denny Rowland, Captain of the Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club, has run the lifesaving program for the last two years and believes the impact will affect more than the individuals.
“They don’t have the skills to keep themselves safe originally,” Mr Rowland said.
“Not only do they become aware of water safety, it sends a powerful message to culturally and linguistically diverse communities that they have a place in the surf lifesaving community.”
An agreement was reached between Swim Brothers and Surf Lifesaving NSW in 2022, allowing culturally diverse communities to participate in tailored classes on water safety.
The classes have provided opportunities for people in these communities to learn to swim and train as volunteer lifesavers; this group is the second to graduate in as many years.
Steve Pearce, CEO of Surf Lifesaving NSW, praised the Swim Brothers organisation for their hard work and commitment.
“This has so many benefits for Surf Lifesaving and the community more broadly,” Mr Pearce said.
“If we can save even one life through this program, then that is very valuable.”
Swim Brothers was founded in 2020 by Omar Mahmoud and Feroz Sattar after members of the ASWJ Mosque in Revesby had to be rescued by off-duty lifesavers after nearly drowning in a rip at an unpatrolled beach a few months prior.
After 64 years of teaching hundreds of children to swim, Sutherland’s David Rice is draining his three backyard pools and heading into retirement. For the region it’s a loss of a generational institution, remembered fondly by many.