Kirsty Coventry

Kirsty for water safety

Raymond Jaravaza
OLYMIPC medalist Kirsty Coventry, through her academy run under the Kirsty Coventry Trust, has set out to recruit 20 ambassadors across the country to spearhead a water safety and drowning prevention programme starting next year.

The Kirsty Coventry Trust was set up as an educational and sporting framework to help provide for the education, sports training and coaching of children in Zimbabwe.

The ambassador programme aims to fill a gap where many schools have swimming pools but the teachers who are mandated to teach swimming do not have the skills to do so.

The ambassadors would then go back to their respective schools and communities to implement what they would have learnt.

Tyrone Seward, the spokesperson for the Kirsty Coventry Trust, told B Metro that ambassadors would be spread across the 10 provinces in the country.

a�?We still have some work to do but our hope is to have ambassadors in every province who are excited about helping us teach people from their community about water safety, drowning prevention and other current health and education issues. We will look for young adults between the ages of 16 and 23 who are independent and passionate about volunteering for their communities. The individuals need to be independent, motivated, passionate about helping communities, have initiative, good at communicating and want to help us make a difference,a�? said Seward.

As a result of the high numbers of drowning incidents especially in rural areas the ambassadors programme hopes to help curb the scourge.

a�?Many rural areas do not have access to swimming pools where the children can learn to swim and a lot of drowning happens in the rivers and dams and even around the homes (a baby can drown in an open bucket of water, if left unattended). Our ambassador programme will help spread the awareness about water safety measures and how to prevent drowning. We believe this programme will make a difference in reducing the number of drowning reports throughout Zimbabwe,a�? he said.

Seward, who is Coventrya��s husband, is himself a victim of a near-death incident when he was a toddler after he fell into a pool and was saved by his father.