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Teaching African children to swim

Swimming teacher Lisa Ryan teaches children to swim EMN-150122-090434001
Swimming teacher Lisa Ryan teaches children to swim EMN-150122-090434001

An inspirational swimming instructor from Stamford Leisure Pool has taught pre-school children how to swim in a small village in Swaziland, Africa.

After researching a trip to Swaziland three years ago, swimming instructor, Lisa Ryan, 45, from Peterborough, discovered that the town of Bulembu was once a thriving community with many leisure activities available

But, due to negative population growth, the offering of leisure activities is becoming fewer.

Lisa is involved with a partnership between Kingsgate Community Church in Peterborough and Hatfield Church in Pretoria, South Africa.

She approached the village of Bulembu to offer her skills as a swimming instructor for the children on their childcare programme.

For the last three years, Lisa has visited the village and launched a swimming programme, so the children are taught this skill.

She has just returned from Bulembu, after taking two weeks away from the UK to host a swimming gala and teach pre-school children how to swim.

Lisa said: “The two weeks I have spent in Bulembu were some of the most heart-warming, inspirational and exciting times of my life.

“I have been working with the children for a total of six weeks over three years and this year we hosted a swimming gala to showcase the important skills the programme has taught the wonderful children of this extremely deprived country.

“When I first came here, most of the children and even some of the school teachers had never been in water before.

“Throughout my time with them, both the children and adults have learnt so much and I have watched the children grow, from suffering with fear of the water, to showing confidence and enjoyment in a swimming pool.”


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