NBS Bank and Raeward Fresh are the sponsors for 80 children to have free-swimming classes at Richmond Aquatic Centre. “It’s a great opportunity for kids who wouldn’t be able to afford those classes” says Crystal Gaiger, Marketing and Administration Coordinator at the Aquatic Centre.

The school age children (from 6 to 12) are having two terms with 10 classes each. “We were looking at the statistics, the number of drownings and the number of kids that can’t swim, and we saw the need for everybody to be safe around water. We wanted to do something to give back to the community so what better way than to partner with local businesses, it’s all about locals supporting locals.” she says.

Gareth and Laura Caldwell, from Raeward Fresh, have their children doing swimming classes at the Aquatic Centre and they were keen to provide this opportunity to others.

“We have a really good relationship with these guys and they asked if we wanted to be a part of it and for us, it was a nice thing that we were able to help the kids”.

Raeward Fresh is responsible for the sponsorship of 10 children and the NBS Bank for the other 70 children.

Howie Timms is the commercial manager at the NBS Bank and supports the initiative.

“When they approached us about sponsoring this activity it was a pretty easy thing to get behind”, he says. “Supporting 70 kids learning to swim over two terms is such a great initiative and we are happy to be involved.”

The children have already started their classes and most of them are from Big Brothers Big Sisters Nelson. “We offered it out to the tamariki that are on our programme and everyone who wanted to have classes, got them”, says Chelsea Routhan, Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Nelson.

There are a few places available for the sponsored swimming classes in term 3 and term 4. If you are keen to participate, visit Richmond Aquatic Centre Facebook page and fill the form.

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