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Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

$250,000 for swimming lessons for children with disability in NSW

Rainbow Club Announcement
The Rainbow Club Australia will soon be helping to change the lives of many more children, with news it has received significant Government funding towards teaching children with disabilities how to swim.
The announcement was made by NSW Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance, who said that $250,000 would be invested in the Rainbow Club, a charity that has been providing swimming lessons for young people with disabilities and helping them find their independence through recreational activities for more than 20 years.
Alexandra Finley, President of Rainbow Club Australia, said the organisation was delighted by the news.
“Our goal is to ensure that as many children as possible have the opportunity to learn and build on their skills in the water, so we are absolutely thrilled that the NSW Government has provided us with such a generous grant.
“While we already have over 500 children learning to swim with us, we also have at least 100 children on our waiting lists at clubs throughout New South Wales.
“The funding will not only help to reduce our waiting lists, but will also go a long way towards assisting us in establishing clubs across the state over time – particularly in those areas where children don’t have access to swimming lessons tailored for their needs,” she said.
Rainbow Club patron and Paralympic gold medallist Louise Sauvage was similarly enthusiastic about the news.
“I started swimming at the age of three. I know firsthand the difference it can make to the lives of kids with a disability – the health benefits and social interaction truly can change a young life.
“I am currently in London as Assistant Coach with the Australian wheelchair track and road team, and right now I am witnessing the impact of sport on the lives of individuals with a disability at the highest level.
“You never know the Rainbow Club’s programs could be creating some of our future Australian Paralympians,“ she said.
Ms. Finley emphasised the importance of ongoing fundraising to keep up with growing demand for the services offered by the organization.
“While we are extremely grateful for this one off grant, we also want to be able to ensure a sustainable future for the Rainbow Club Australia.
“The grant will go a long way towards helping us achieve this, but we are also dependent on a regular stream of funding to set us up for future success,” she said.
The Rainbow Club facilitates swimming lessons for children with disabilities, supporting 16 local clubs across NSW that meet on a weekly basis.  Approximately 500 children are presently learning to swim with the Rainbow Club and many more have benefited from their experience with the Rainbow Club since its inception.

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