A hot day in Telfer saw some very eager Punmu children’s eyes light up when they finally reached the big blue swimming pool at the Telfer Village.
Some of the children, aged from 4 to 7 years, were experiencing a swimming pool for the first time in their lives, and water confidence was bound to be put to the test.
With safety rules put in place, the kids couldn’t wipe the smiles of their faces as they introduced their tiny toes to the cool water for the first time. Surrounding them were plenty of support staff from Punmu’s RAWA School, and Ngurra Kujungka ISDO’s Callan Hatchman and Ebony Humble. In fact, support staff numbers almost outweighed the number of kids, and they lacked no enthusiasm for getting wet and escaping the Western Desert heat.
With splashing in abundance, the youngsters in their own good time grew in confidence in attempting to swim short distances between adults. Some kids found entertainment in blowing bubbles and learning to dunk their faces underwater, while others found comfort in floating on pool noodles and kick boards. The more experienced children enjoyed showing off their swimming abilities by racing short distances across the width of the swimming pool.
A few mini-skills were practised, including becoming comfortable while submerged underwater, learning to float on their backs, and practising the common freestyle stroke. As lunch time arrived, it only took the appearance of an approaching Callan carrying trays of food to the tables to attract the attention of all the swimmers. The delicious sandwiches and vegetables, thanks to Telfer’s ESS staff, kept the kids silent for the first time that day.
After letting their food settle and a quick kick of the footy in the grassed area, the visitors were back in to the water, soaking up as much of their remaining swimming time as possible.
As the word got around that ice cream was on the menu, the kids were eager to help pack up, get changed and line up for a small cone each. And soon enough, with a small group of exhausted but happy kids aboard, the school bus departed Telfer and headed back to Punmu.
“It is such a pleasure having the RAWA School on site,” said Ebony. “We tend to take swimming in pools for granted, being brought up in our cities or towns. It was very special to be present when the younger kids were experiencing this for the first time, and I look forward to seeing how much their confidence and abilities progress.”