Building Bridges through Water Safety

October 20, 2016

                    Photograph by: J. Keith Howie
A conference can build a bridge, not just between those working in the same industry, but between cultures. This year’s Water Safety conference addressed the way in which different cultures associate with water. One population impacted is Syrian refugees.

“They relate to water differently s many had to escape Syria by boat. Now, they’re learning to use [the pool] as a place to have fun with their kids,” says MacDonald. In particular, women from Syria have been positively impacted. They now have the opportunity to enjoy swimming and lessons for women only are becoming more prevalent.

The seventh annual Red Cross Water Safety Training Partner Conference provided an opportunity for people in the aquatic industry to connect, problem solve, discuss new and emerging practices, and experiment with new techniques and equipment in the pool. Topics ranged from creating a positive pool work culture to global drowning statistics.

“It was started because there was an opportunity for professional development for those in the aquatic industry,” explained co-organizer Dominique MacDonald.

The conference also allowed aquatic professionals to access new and different equipment with pool sessions. Aquatic centres in smaller communities may not have the new equipment readily available and this was a chance to review and discuss the latest equipment, test it out, and determine if it would benefit their specific locations.

As the aquatic industry evolves with the fabric of Canada, so does the conference. Canadian Red Cross has the latest information and courses you may be interested in on its website.

The conference took place in Edmonton October 4– 6. Our 8th annual Water Safety Conference is scheduled in Calgary, October 3-5, 2017.