Monday, July 15th 2019, saw the official commencement of the now annual Red Cross water safety and swimming program. An opening ceremony was held at the Red Cross headquarters, located on Chapel Street.
This year’s camp is being held under the theme ‘empowering your child to be safe and skilful in and around water.’ It was pointed out that the Red Cross is to aid persons and provide assistance and knowledge to all.
The invocation was offered by Pastor Eversley Pemberton. Mrs. Georgette Hanley, Deputy Director of the Nevis Branch of the St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross volunteers, in addressing the audience, thanked the parents for their overwhelming support and noted that the program was a collaborative effort between the Nevis Branch of the Red Cross Society, Department of Youth, Department of Sports, and the Four Seasons Home Owners Association.
Mrs. Hanley listed the main objectives of the program:
- Develop and improve the skills of the nation’s youth with a view towards the attainment of sustainable development
- Engage students in positive learning experiences during the summer vacation
- Create awareness of water safety measures and techniques
- Create and make available ongoing training programs to school students during the summer vacation
- To help curb and ultimately eliminate the stigma of open ocean fear among youths and adults
- To increase the number of swimmers among our people
The Deputy Director also stated that the participants will be assisted by qualified and certified instructors such as Ned Lestrade (scuba instructor and member of diving instructors) and James Weekes.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow in his address, noted that some associations can choose to be dormant but indicated that the Red Cross society has chosen to be active and should be commended. He impressed on the gathering that learning to swim is a very important skill.
Mr. Brian Dowe, Ag. Director of Sports, in his brief remarks, indicated that his Department had assisted in the promotion and registration process for the program and urged the participants to pay full attention to the instructors and take the instructions given seriously.
Instructor Mr. Ned Lestrade then conducted a brief interactive session outlining the importance of the program.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Ag. Director of the Youth Department, Miss Kerdis Clarke.