Dainfern College students raised awareness about plastic pollution by swimming in a pool filled with trash; Grade 12 student, Nicholas Petrovic, said it was a struggle which has left a lasting impression.
Dainfern, South Africa (23 March 2023) – The annual Swimathon fundraiser at Dainfern College was given an environmental twist this year as the result of a collaboration between the Dainfern College Parents’ Association and Grade 12 Student Head of Environmental Affairs, Nicholas Petrovic.
The Swimathon, an annual tradition driven by the Dainfern College Parents’ Association for many years, involves Prep School students from Grades 2 to 7 swimming lengths to raise funds for Dainfern College and its outreach initiatives. In 2018 the Swimathon was used most successfully to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution in our oceans, and Nicholas felt it was time to revisit this idea with the current Prep School students.
At this year’s Swimathon on Friday 17 February 2023, students purposely ‘polluted’ the Dainfern College swimming pool with hundreds of plastic bottles. The students participated in the Swimathon, swimming through the ‘pollution’, thus experiencing the destructive nature of plastic and how it affects one’s ability in the water.
“I am quite a strong swimmer and I found it difficult to navigate through the plastic in our pool. It made me realise how hard it must be for our marine life. This event made a lasting impression on me so I wanted to repeat the idea five years later for the next generation of Prep School students. I want them to see and experience for themselves the consequences of our carelessness with plastic and the devastating effect it is having in our oceans.” – Nicholas Petrovic, Grade 12 Student Head of Environmental Affairs
This innovative experience was used to highlight that we are the only ones who can control the outcomes on our planet and that we have the power to change our environment for the better.
Dainfern College, which is proud to be a member of the international Round Square network of innovative schools, places a major emphasis on Environmentalism in its quest to teach students to think globally and act locally. The ‘Plastic Swimathon’ is certainly a memorable event for the students as an experiential lesson on the effects of pollution and our role in looking after our oceans.