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Youth And Sports Ministry’s Free Swimming Classes For B40 Kids Earns Praise

Youth And Sports Ministry’s Free Swimming Classes For B40 Kids Earns Praise

This will allow kids to learn the very basics of swimming, says minister Hannah Yeoh.

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In an attempt to instill the importance of water safety among Malaysians, particularly children, the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) will organise swimming classes in selected states.

Speaking at a dialogue session with the media on Tuesday, its minister Hannah Yeoh said the programme will benefit 1,600 children aged three to 12 from B40 families.

She also added that this programme is expected to be launched by this month.

The programme will be implemented throughout the year in states that have recorded a high rate of fatality due to drowning. Based on existing data, about 500 drowning cases involving children are reported each year.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh

As reported by Bernama, Yeoh has asked the KBS to ensure the infrastructure and added that they will use swimming pools owned by the government to help B40 families attend the classes for free.

Additionally, as reported by The Sun, Yeoh also noted that over 500 youths drown yearly based on records provided to her ministry.

It was discovered that most of the youths died during the school holidays either in swimming pools or while swimming in rivers.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh

She was also reported saying that she hoped this way the number of drowning cases during school holidays can be prevented and reduced.

This will allow them to learn the very basics of swimming. Lessons will be held at public pools owned by the government and coaches will be paid by the ministry.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh

Netizens online praised Yeoh for this initiative, saying that it was about time for its implementation.

Twitter user @thefeliciawong said:

This is great! Water confidence is so important. I was privileged as a kid that my parents saw the importance of bringing me for swimming and paid for lessons for a while too.

@thefeliciawong via Twitter

Another Twitter user @LaraWincheste18 said:

Great news. Another thing
@KBSMalaysia can consider building and maintaining public swimming pools in as many districts as possible, to encourage this sport. Some towns have only private or club pools which charge exorbitant fees for use.

@LaraWincheste18 via Twitter

On the other hand, Twitter user @NJMohamed said:

The power of sport goes beyond high performance. It also helps social agendas in terms of living skills. Accessibility is key. #LiberalisingSport”

@NJMohamed via Twitter

Twitter user @maimaimai95 said:

This is a good initiative for the youths. Swimming is an essential skill, it helps coordinate our motors skills and agility. It’s also a crucial survival skill, should one finds themselves in a water related incident.

@maimaimai95 via Twitter

Moving on, netizens also highlighted that this idea was once championed by former education minister Dr Maszlee Malik, who wanted to introduce this sport in schools as well.

However, his dream to execute this initiative was cut short with the change in government back in 2018 and the backlash he received from many back in the day.

As Twitter user @luxentX said:

Finally @maszlee idea is coming true. With climate change, sudden floods make it more critical for kids to learn to swim.

@luxentX via Twitter

If you are part of the B40 group, would you send your kids for swimming lessons?

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