It started in December 2009 when a 5 year old boy from the Father Ray Day Centre fell into a canal and died from drowning. Following this event the Father Ray Foundation made the decision to provide swimming lessons for the children of the Day Care Centre and Blind School to make every effort to avoid this happening again.
I am sure we are all very sad when we read of a young child drowning off the beaches of Pattaya and Jomtien and wish we could do something to stop this happening. The Father Ray Foundation and Pattaya Sports Club did just that with the help of all its members.
Children from the Blind School and Day Care Centre.
Once the first tentative steps have been taken, being in a pool is fun for most children, splashing your friends or perhaps an adult who happens to venture a little too near the edge, but it does have a serious side.
Having confidence in water is essential for the safety of everyone both young and old. Many of the children when they return to their home play near ponds or rivers and confidence when in water, whether by accident or intent, might just save some child’s life. After a short time the children are no longer fearful of water and look forward to spending time in the pool. Add to that, swimming is regarded by most people as being a healthy pastime so the children benefit in every way.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh discusses the benefits of swimming.
But it does not take too much imagination to realise that equipment and the upkeep of a pool is expensive and is a drain on any purse. Pattaya Sports Club was asked and the decision quickly made, that we would help with the finances. PSC had a well supported Charity Golf Day and contributed 130,000 baht towards the cost of professional swimming coaches, care and maintenance of the pool, the water supply, costumes, caps and goggles for the students.
Already a number of former students have represented Thailand in international competition and we look forward to the day that a student from Pattaya will bring home a Gold Medal following a swimming victory.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, Ms. Aurora, who devotes her life to helping the children of the Blind School, members of the PSC committee and Derek Franklin from the Father Ray Foundation were there to see, first hand, how the children enjoy themselves.