The CHB Swim 4 Lives group is committed to providing support and assistance to improve the swimming ability of all Central Hawke's Bay children by reducing the barriers for schools to access and participate in Deep Water Safety Training 

In 2016 after watching his children’s swimming sports and seeing how many children were struggling with their swimming Wayne Forest had a vision. Drown safe has reported that as of 23 December 2016, 96 people had drowned in New Zealand and Wayne’s wish was to reduce this number by giving children the opportunity to learn to swim, So the “Swim 4 Lives” group was formed.

CHB Swim 4 Lives Group: (from left toright) Michele Hayes, Charles Nairn, Nicki Heremaia, Wayne Forrest, Jo Ward, Phil Bourke & Erin Jenkins (not pictured)

What we know

Many of our Central Hawke's Bay whanau spend a lot of time in and around water for many reasons including play, active recreation, leisure, sport and gathering kai. 

Research shows 80% of Kiwi kids cannot swim well enough to save themselves and in 2014 it was reported that there were 71 preventable drownings in NZ. It is so important that all children in New Zealand learn swimming and water safety as core life skills.

Whanau, tamariki and schools face multiple barriers to improving the confidence, skills, knowledge and ability of tamariki to be safe in and around water. These barriers range from accessing the relevant environment, accessing the appropriate expertise and overcoming cost of travel.   

What we've done

Our mission over the last 7 years has been to help support local Central Hawke’s Bay Primary Schools and Kura Kaupapa Māori  to engage in a range of water safety and swimming activities. 

This has included Deep Water Safety, Swimming Lessons (6) for targeted tamariki, board safety and now 10 lessons for the whole school. 

Beach & Boat Safety

Deep Water safety

General Swimming lessons

We have provided the transport (Buses or minivans) and trained instructors to facilitate all of this. The main venue has been the Centralines Indoor Pool but also includes the Centennial Memorial Pool in Waipawa and also at some school pools. Over the 7 years we have been operating it has resulted in 26 Deep Water Safety sessions for over 1700 tamariki -  and over 1800 tamariki receiving swimming and water safety lessons either fully funded (including transport) or subsidised by CHB Swim 4 Lives.

Our Aspirations

We want to overcome the barriers that whanau, tamariki and schools face in improving the confidence, skills, knowledge and ability of tamariki to be safe in and around water. 

This has been achieved mainly through the funds raised through our annual Swim-A-Thon which has raised just over $35,000 from 2016-2023.  To support the on-going organisation and logistics of delivering to all 16 Central Hawke's Bay schools over a 2 year rotational programme would require $81,000 which we are proud to announce that we have been successful in securing for the first round, with thanks to 3 key organisations: 

How can you support?

We need help to:

It's super simple, all you need to do is get involved with the Annual SWIM-A-THON 

This year's event will be held on Friday 24th March at the Centralines Sports Complex

COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD - 2020 Central Hawke's Bay Sports Awards