Olympic legend Dawn Fraser is encouraging parents to get their children to swimming lessons.
Photo: Delly Carr
Olympic legend Dawn Fraser is encouraging parents to get their children to swimming lessons. Photo: Delly Carr Contributed

'Our Dawn' sends swimming warning to parents

OLYMPIC swimming legend and Sunshine Coast resident Dawn Fraser has urged parents to get their children to swimming lessons to keep them safe this summer.

Australia's greatest ever female Olympian will front a Swim Australia campaign this summer to encourage every Australian child to learn to swim. 

She will appear in television commercials as the official Swim Australia ambassador and will also be the voice of a social media campaign to convince mums and dads to have their children taught to swim.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist was recognised by the IOC as the Greatest Living Female Water Sports Champion.

Still making a splash ... Swimming legend Dawn Fraser. Photo: Delly Carr
Still making a splash ... Swimming legend Dawn Fraser. Photo: Delly Carr

"Learning to swim is an asset for life," Fraser said.

"It is so important for all Australian children to learn to swim. This country of ours is an island; we are surrounded by water no matter where we go; you only have to go into the country, there's dams, rivers, lakes and creeks which is why every child in this country must learn to swim. 

"We go out in boats and sometimes we put life jackets on and sometimes we don't. 

"If they fall overboard they can't swim and we lose them. We don't want to lose any more children. 

"We have had too many drownings in this country over the last 10 years so let's do something about it. 

"To hear of another child drowning makes me very sad. Just recently we tragically lost two young sisters who climbed over the swimming pool fence. 

Swimming legend Dawn Fraser. Photo: Delly Carr
Swimming legend Dawn Fraser. Photo: Delly Carr

Fraser was taught to swim by her brother Don, after jumping off the high tower when she was four.

When her own grandson wanted to ride a jet-ski, she made him swim 400 metres so she knew he could make it to shore if he got into trouble. 

"That is one of the stipulations I put on him and I think we should do that with all our children," she said. 

"My message is loud and clear to mums and dads. Teach your kids to swim - it's an asset for life and it can save their lives."

The 79-year-old was born and bred in Balmain but now lives on the Sunshine Coast with daughter Dawn-Lorraine and grandson Jackson.

She still plays an active role as a mentor to Australia's elite Dolphins Swim Team.



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