Watamu Turtles Swimming Club
In 2019 we established a children’s swimming club for the local children because despite living next to the ocean very few of them entered the water let alone swam.
We wanted the children to be able to enjoy their own environment safely by learning to swim as well as having fun, but we needed someone to take charge.
We were very fortunate that one of the parents, Consolatar, more affectionately known as Connie, volunteered to run the group.
Almost every weekend the children are waiting at her door eager to go swimming and snorkelling. They adopted the name Watamu Turtles as their beach and sea is a place where turtles come to lay eggs and the children know that they need protecting.
Swimming in the sea isn’t easy and most children only had their day clothes to swim in. KWEST has supplied swimming costumes, rash vests, snorkels, masks and buoyancy aids to the club.
It is wonderful to see the growth in confidence amongst the children, particularly in those who were initially terrified of entering the water. Lesley recalls one instance when a young girl sat on the beach watching the others swimming and splashing about. The girl was terrified but with a little bit of encouragement she walked to the edge of the sea gripping Lesley’s hand tightly. Very gradually she allowed the water to lap over her feet and then knelt in the water with Lesley, but still shaking with fear. Then miraculously a smile appeared, she sat down and let the water roll over her. She then started floating and within 30 minutes, amazingly she was confident enough to start swimming. She is now a very happy and active member of the swimming club.