Learn to Swim

Senegal - 2016

In 2016, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation renewed their support for a water safety project carried out between June 2014 and March 2015 by the Association “La Maison du Rugby”. Its aim was to prevent drownings in the area of Dakar.
In this city, from 2009 to 2012, 536 persons died out of the 654 drowning incidents reported [1].
The 2016 Project implemented by La Maison du Rugby, with the technical support of the Senegalese Federation of Swimming and Rescue (SFSR), is taking place in Dakar as well as in Saint Louis. Indeed, in quite a number of coastal cities in Senegal, youngsters who bathe do not actually know how to swim and more often than not swim outside of monitored bathing areas.
As a consequence, this programme, which is taking place between end-July and mid-December, will reach 1,000 children and young adults, aged 6 to 18. The instruction combines swimming lessons, both in the sea and in a swimming pool, and water safety prevention messages.
This project is also about developing swimming as a sporting activity. For this purpose the SFSR asked two high-level Senegalese swimmers to support the program. These high-profile swimmers have attained excellent results and this has elevated them to the rank of role model in the eyes of the youngsters benefitting from the project. As such, perhaps some may even be inspired to pursue swimming or lifesaving as a possible career.
On 25 September 2016, Adama Thiaw Ndir, one of the two selected swimmers, won the Traversée Dakar-Gorée (5,200m), organized by the Swimming Federation, in 1h08min. Mamadou Ndoye Diop, who arrived second, is a swimming instructor for La Maison du Rugby.

[1] Direction of Civil Protection, 2013.