Mar 9, 2020

Safe Water Sports actions for 2020

Safety guidelines
Safety guidelines

Safe Water Sports is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 with the interest of providing information and raising awareness to the general public on safety matters related to recreational water activities and water sports with great emphasis on safety standards and the prevention of drownings and sea-based accidents.

The Organization which has created an educational program for primary schools and it is approved by the Ministry of Education in Greece and Cyprus, focuses on raising awareness among students of issues related to safety at the beach, in the sea and in water sports. Now, it plans to expand the program to other countries by cooperating with the Embassy of France and the French Institute in Athens but also with the British Embassy in Athens in order to promote the program in France and UK too. Therefore, on the following months, the British Embassy in Athens will organize an event specially for the presentation of the Organization to tour operators, representatives of other countries and educational coordinators of the British Counsil and consulates. 

Furthermore, during April 2020, the Organization will host each week, a unique educational, digital-based and entertaining interactive program at the premises of the Organization in Athens in order to educate-inform at no cost, primary school students on issues related to safety in the sea and in water sports. Students are engaged in using technology through a series of games in order to have a greater understanding of the basic safety guidelines in the sea. For this kind or program, the Organization has formed a series of digital-based games that can also be used by schools abroad and be included in the online educational program of the Organization, since the material is available in English too.

Also, due to the results of the Observatory of Accidents, a 3-year statistical report that Safe Water Sports has developed and includes in details the number of drownings and sea-based accidents in Greece, the results show that countries such as UK and France have a big number of drownings in Greece. Based on this factor,this is the reason the Organization plans to educate not only citizens and tourists who visit Greece but also children from a very young age in Europe through the distribution of educational bags regarding safety in the sea and in water sports but also possibly through their participation in the Annual Conference of Seaguards that take places each October , where the schools that accomplished the greatest part of activities in the educational program distinguised and awarded.

Finally, the educational program of the Organization will be featured officially as a class at schools by the Ministry of Education, giving specific teaching hours to teachers, in order to be carried out throughout the school year. The scope of this accomplishment is that children from a very young age, across Greece, are educated about safety guidelines in the sea, in the swimming pool and in water sports. Ideally, we do hope that this plan could also extend on an international basis.

Educational program in Cyprus
Educational program in Cyprus
The educational bag ''travels'' across Greece
The educational bag ''travels'' across Greece

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Attachments:
Dec 16, 2019

SAFE WATER SPORTS ACTIONS

Educational Bag in Cyprus
Educational Bag in Cyprus

Safe Water Sports is a non-profit organization with the interest of providing information and raising awareness to the general public on safety matters related to recreational water activities and water sports with great emphasis on safety standards and the prevention of drownings and sea-based accidents.Its primary scope is the information and sensitization of citizens, mostly children, on all matters relating to both water and sea activities (sports and recreation), emphasizing on safety and accident-prevention issues and the implementation of actions in collaboration with the Private and Public sector. Greece is ranked 11th globally in the list of countries with the longest coastline (13,676 kilometers).

Each year 50,000 European citizens are injured by while doing water sports, whereas in our country, 325 deaths occur each year in the sea. Drowning is considered as the second leading cause of accidental death for children 1-14 years of age.

Since the primary scope of the project is to increase awareness not only in Greece but to other European countries too, by constructing specially designed educational bags in order for the teachers to educate students regarding safety issues in the sea an in water sports, we managed to form an ''Observatory of sea-based accidents'' that take place each year in Greece in order to study the facts in details.

Although, we found out that the majority of sea-based accidents and drownings involve mostly Greeks, we do have statistics about foreign tourists who visit Greece each year. The observatory of accidents that was made in cooperation wiht the Port Authorities and soon will be presented officially to the public, will show the number of drownings based on gender, on month,on region, on beach, on ethnicity, on day time etc. The Observatory of accidents has been also presented to the Government, gaining the respect and hoping to produce meaningful results in 2020. 

Additionally, in 2019 we cooperated with the British Embassy and the French Embassy as an effort to gain information about the sea kind behaviour in UK and in France too. Both Embassies, support our mission, by promoting the Safe Water Sports app to all tourists and tour operators. Indeed, the French Embassy has translated the Safe Water Sports app as well and now it translates all the material needed for the construction of the educational bags that need to be sent to France and French shcools. We do also make an effort to cooperate with other Embassies too, in order to reach our goal and make our educational program meaningful in other countries too.

Furthermore, the educational program has been also approved by the Ministry of Education of Cyprus and many schools there, so far, have started succesfully implementing the program and using the educational bag.

Regarding, the educational program we managed to educate-inform more than 40,000 students in 2019 while in total more than 150,000 children have been informed through our educational program.

On October 2019, we organized the 1st Conference of the Safeguards where 13 schools of each Prefecture that participated in our educational program, were invited to Athens and were nominated in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Education.

We do hope that in 2020, this number will increase on a significat basis since more children will be educated in Cyprus and abroad too.

Finally, our latest project is to enrich the material of the educational program and of the educational bag by creating a very distinguisshed program that addresses to the students of High School,

To conclude, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in Greece, the educational program will be included soon as an mandatory field at schools during the school year. Therefore, we do believe that when this happens, the educational system regarding safety measures in the sea and in water sports will be a great success story.

Games of the educational bag at a school in Cyprus
Games of the educational bag at a school in Cyprus
The educational bag has been awarded to a school
The educational bag has been awarded to a school
The educational bag ''travels''
The educational bag ''travels''
Students learn about the safety rules
Students learn about the safety rules

Links:

Sep 18, 2019

Safe Water Sports Organization's progress

Safe Water Sports Organization constantly plans to keep children and students informed regarding the safety rules in the sea and water sports in order to ''Stop drownings in EU & save a child's life''. During April - September, the Organization managed to inform more than 8,000 children at schools, but also at public spaces via the specially constructed Safe Water Sports awareness centers that were located in various beaches in Greece.

In order for the educational program to be effective, the Organization plans to enrich the content of its educational material through the construction of more interactive games such as,  the “mix and match of rules” where children try to match one safety rule with the correct sign of conduct of behavior that is given to them, a form of some specially developed “digital games” that will be described in a brochure inside the educational bag and teachers must connect to a computer in order to play the games and inform children about the safety rules in the water etc.

Since the awareness of children in EU is the Organization's primary focus, the Organization has not only signed an official cooperation agreement with Cyprus and the French Institute-Embassy of France, but also with the British Embassy of Athens, in order to expand the educational program in the schools of these countries too but also to educate French/British citizens in Greece.

Finally, the Organization will participate in various events and awareness campaigns (located in malls, and children festivals) in Greece and Cyprus during the fall period in order to inform children regarding the safety measures in the water through entertainment. Foremost, the Organization will organize the 1st  event of the “Safeguards meeting’’ that will be held on October 5th in Athens,  where 13 schools, one of each Periphery from all over Greece, will be awarded for their commitment to the educational program of Safe Water Sports.

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