Swim Swimming
Photo Credit: NSRI - Supplied

The NSRI has announced plans to build a second specialised swimming facility in a container for a school in the Eastern Cape, then a third for a KZN school.


Riebeek Kasteel, South Africa (23 May 2022) – Earlier this year, we shared the exciting news that the NSRI had built a swimming pool inside a container to help teach Riebeek Kasteel school children to swim. They plan to build two more for a school in the Eastern Cape and a school in KwaZulu-Natal.

The concept was very well received and has done well at the school. So now that the pilot has been a success, the next phase of this important project can begin.

Not every school has the resources or infrastructure to teach children to swim, and yet it is a vital life skill in South Africa. Many children, teens and even adults need to be near the water on a near-daily basis. Whether to cross a river to get somewhere, collect water for their home or wash clothing, water plays a vital role in many lives.

The NSRI says it is essential that every child should learn how to swim. Not only does it teach the child essential water safety skills, but it equips them with a skill that may one day save their life or the life of their peers.

This is according to Andrew Ingram, Drowning Prevention Manager at the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), who shares an update on the organisation’s first survival swimming centre (SSC). The centre was built using a twelve-metre shipping container which features a six-meter-long swimming pool inside.

“The centre has provided 2067 swimming lessons to Meiring Primary School students, these lessons were taught over 15 operational days after the centre arrived at the school,” he states.

Ingram states that they are currently teaching all the Grade 7 learners from the school and the urgency to teach them is because they are about to leave primary school for high school.

“We strongly believe that equipping this grade with swimming skills is essential since they are about to enter their next chapter of their schooling” he adds.

Brenton Cupido, Headmaster at Meiring Primary School, says words cannot describe what this centre is doing for the children at the school.

“These lessons will not only change the lives of the children, but also of their families and peers. They now have water safety skills that will never be taken away from them” he explains.

Ingram explains that it has been an interesting and heartfelt process not only for the children, but for the swimming instructors as well.

“How the childrens’ eyes light up once they realise that they can float and control their breathing in water has been incredible,” he explains.

During the official opening of the centre, the first 11 Meiring Primary school children were awarded with certificates after they mastered the fundamentals of how to hold their breath underwater, open their eyes whilst underwater and how to float and safely propel themselves for at least five meters in the water.

“Another interesting observation has been that female students are more cautious around water as opposed to their male counterparts who showed less caution. This could be because boys tend to play more in and around dams,” Andrew states.

“We are extremely grateful to the following people and companies without whom the prototype SSC would not have happened at the speed that it did: Delve Aquatic Systems’ Jason Kampel; Dibana Logistics’ Brendan Hiscock; Fluidra team and management; Metalo’s Allan Searle; Mr Water Delivery’s Eric Putsman; Pools for Africa’s Jaap Brand and Power Plastic’s Caryn Formby.”

“Our next SSC 2 is currently being built and it will be placed in the Eastern Cape, followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal. Both these provinces have high drowning statistics. We hope to create a swimming culture in both Provinces,” concludes Ingram

Sources: NSRI – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

1 comment

  1. Love this idea of a container training pool.
    We have a Student Residence with 1300 students in Witbank (Emalahleni).
    99% of the students are from the Rural areas and cannot swim.
    This would be a great addition to our Res as we love to add to the Student experience and teaching them swimming would be an amazing addition. I am sure there would be qualified swimming teachers in the area that would assist us with lessons.
    If possible please let me have the contact name and number for someone i can contact regarding buying such a facility for the Residence.

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