Sally Barn saw a woman teaching children to swim and wanted to know more, she asked her community, and everyone became inspired by the heartwarming story.
Knysna, Western Cape – Sally Barn saw a woman teaching a group of children how to swim on Leisure Island. She said it was beautiful to see the children learning how to swim and being taught about water safety. Sally then shared the story on the Knysna Daily Facebook group to find out who the woman was.
Sally said she could see the woman needed the proper equipment for teaching as the ones she had looked recycled. She hoped that the community could identify the woman and help with swimming equipment.
Within minutes of the post being shared, Haley Muller was tagged. Haley was the woman Sally was looking for. We contacted Haley to find out more about her fantastic initiative that helps children become water safe.
Haley confirmed she has been training a group of children for the last three years. They usually use a different pool; however, it is being renovated, so she had to make a plan. It all started three years ago when she moved to Knysna from Port Elizabeth.
Haley always had a love for swimming, but when she was in school, her educators were not interested in swimming. She let her hopes of becoming a swimmer disappear. When her son started showing an interest, she supported him and started training him herself.
One day at the beach, she saw a swimmer struggling in a riptide and quickly swam out to save him. She nearly got pulled in but managed to get him to safety. It was only after her colleague’s son drowned that she thought about teaching children to swim.
She found a municipality pool in Karatara, just outside Knysna where she started teaching a group of children. The lessons were a great success, but she ran into problems. Using her own salary, she began to struggle to fund driving out there, and transport is one of the biggest challenges she now faces.
Haley approached the municipality but couldn’t get the help needed. When the pool they use started being renovated, she was forced to do the lessons at the beach.
Haley uses recycled bottles for the children to use as floatation because she can’t afford to buy noodles and other swimming equipment. Sally had seen this and wanted to find out how to assist Haley with the proper tools.
“Most of them come from poor backgrounds where they can’t afford even something to eat but the passion they have for swimming is amazing.” – Haley Muller
The Knysna community are now rallying to help Haley. We asked Haley what she needs, and it is a very humble request. She hopes to raise funds to cover the petrol costs and purchase a few pool noodles and kicker boards.
Everything she does, she does for her community, to make sure the children are safe. She hopes to put an end to drownings in her community. With love and kindness, she is getting there one child at a time.