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Jul 17, 2019

Y.W.C.A.’s Summer Programme for the Entire Family

The Y.W.C.A. on Saint Thomas Street, Belize City is a popular place to be at this time of the year.  Persons of all ages flock to the venue for the annual summer camps. There are academic programmes, cooking, cosmetology and many more activities. One of the most sought off activity is swimming, in which hundreds are cooling down from the intense heat.  News Five’s Duane Moody headed over there and has the following report. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

Since the ending of June, the annual summer camp programme of the YWCA kicked off, providing a safe space for hundreds of persons—from preschoolers to adults at its facility on Saint Thomas Street in Belize City. The programmes range from remedial work in academics such as Mathematics and English to skills in cosmetology, cooking and more.


Joevannie Collins

Joevannie Collins, Summer Programme Coordinator, Y.W.C.A.

“You may have passed the Y.W.C.A., you have seen a lot of activities and this is the reason why. From the end of June to August, we have our summer programmes running. The ones that will conclude this week will be the remedial Math, English and Reading; we have a segment of swimming which will conclude tomorrow as well as we have arts and craft, karate, cake and pastry, we have cooking and cosmetology. So those are the major ones featured right now.”


The ‘Learn to Swim’ programme is often times fully booked. There is a toddler programme on Saturdays, while the regular children programme is held between on Monday. Working class people, specifically persons sixteen years and older, who don’t know how to swim can also take advantage of the evening swimming programme.

Instructor and Certified Lifeguard, Lawnie Leslie, says that participants are learning swimming skills and about water safety.


Lawnie Leslie, Swimming Instructor, Y.W.C.A.

“We are teaching them how to survive with the floats and basic swimming skills like the front crawl, the breaststroke, the sidestroke, the elementary, the back crawl.”


Lawnie Leslie

Duane Moody

“They are of all ages?”


Lawnie Leslie

“They have some kids that are small and they move fast so they go to the advance where they learn the different rescue skills.”


Duane Moody

“How important is this for children to know how to swim?”


Lawnie Leslie

“It is very interesting because kids are attracted to the water so it is good that they learn to swim; sometimes you hear a lot of people drown and so it is good that they learn to swim. We also even teach them how to survive if they catch cramp in their legs so they don’t panic and can still swim.”


Duane Moody

“How do you get them to overcome that fear of water?”


Lawnie Leslie

“The first we need to do is overcome that’s why we teach them the bobs. The first thing we do is teach them to get water adjustment by adjusting themselves to put their face in the water. So if they get comfortable with the water, they will learn to pick up stuff like object under the water that will help them to develop that confidence.”


While this leg of the summer programme comes to a close later this week, there are many more activities that will begin in the days ahead and for which parents can register their children.


Joevannie Collins

“We have more programmes such as a preschool prep programme that we deemed very fit and needed for babies going into preschool. And so being that they’re only used to mommy and daddy, there is that time of detachment that they are not used to and so the YWCA came up with this programme specifically to calm them down and let them know it is okay to socialize and it is okay to go to school. We also have the aerobics programme. I know a lot of people pass on a daily basis, Monday to Thursday, and see a lot of ladies working out on the court. So it is not only for children; we also target adults.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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