BVI News

A woman’s mission to teach BVI kids to swim

UK swim instructor Emma Paul

UK swim instructor Emma Paul is on a mission to teach children in the BVI to swim and she needs your help to do just that.

Paul, with the backing of BVI Watersports, plans to sail around Tortola in a Topper sailboat to raise funds to build an above-ground pool and teach 200 non-swimmers from the Francis Lettsome Primary School how to swim and be safe in the water.

“Currently 70 per cent of the children at Francis Lettsome Primary School cannot swim in the deep (or without their feet touching the floor). I am raising funds for a community swimming programme that is building an above-ground pool in Greenland with the sole aim of providing low cost and no cost lessons to get as many people as possible in the community to be swimmers who can be safe in the water,” Paul explained on her GoFundMe page where she is aiming to raise £5,000. 

She’s raised just over £2,510 for the effort so far.

According to BVI Watersports, over the past three years they’ve found that the same children are taking part in all of the programmes they provide, which means that many children who need vital swimming skills are left out. 

“It is also mostly expat or financially secure individuals that take part the most. We did some research at our local primary school and found out that 70% of the school cannot swim and this is similar throughout the public schools in the BVI. Simply for more children to gain a good knowledge of watersports and water safety, there needs to be more opportunities than currently exist to teach children how to swim,” BVI Watersports said on their Facebook page.

They said the funds Paul is rising will help to build a pool, deck, fence and changing facilities for children. 

“We need to raise 10 to 12 thousand dollars to make this happen and our aim is to be up and running by the end of August.  Then we start grade by grade so each child can swim 25m in the deep and pass their water safety tests,” the BVI Watersports said.

Though the Caribbean has an abundance of fresh and salt water, many people across the region are unable to swim, mainly due to lack of adequate infrastructure, training programmes and instructors that can teach safe swimming practices. 


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  1. VG Pool says:

    what happened?

    Like 5
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  2. Landowner says:

    Does she own land in Greenland? Asking for every child

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  3. Great concept but says:

    This is a good concept but Greenland? I there a location available? Who will maintain it and secure it in the off hours. Isn’t the college building a new pool? I’m sure they would encourage lessons for local children. I learned to swim in the bay. Either way, good luck with your mission. I will support any plan to teach our youth to swim

    Like 10
  4. Radio Rich says:

    Well done, keep up the good work

  5. OLD SCHOOL says:

    try teach us cuz this next generation of kids like them hardly visit beach to swim..

    only clubbing, bars, drinking, Poker Run (On boat dry with drugman), and social media them like.

    some can’t even cook a very basic meal.

    When i was small it was beach, baseball, tag, hide and seek, diving all kinda activities but this next generation looking real rachette and loose like them parents

  6. Thoughtful Sailor says:

    This is also a political and Labour issue. The charter industry is often called to task, unfairly, for not hiring enough locals, as if it is purely a hiring issue. The implication is also that holding an entry level Captain’s license should be enough to secure a charter captain’s position, for a local.
    The reality is that successful captains and other charter crew usually bring a lifetime of water sports experience, their licenses usually being just one element. Many have experience as instructors. This adds essential value to their credentials.
    It is also true that crew are the first link in early response to safety emergencies.
    And ALL of this starts with swimming! Without that, there are no water sports, etc. I have often stated that if the BVI wants greater participation in the charter industry, it will take a generation of kids to learn to swim, at an early age, and then to develop their passion for all things water related. This will take time, money, and effort, and not just a certificate from the College.
    Ms. Paul deserves a huge pat on the back and all our support to make her project and other similar ones a success. The kids who benefit will have much greater opportunities in the future, for any water related activities and careers. This should be a Territorial priority!

    Like 22
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  7. Boy Mom says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea and its something that has needed to be done a long time now.

    I would definitely support; i was hoping to have my kid learn to swim this summer i do hope when its up and running and her goal of getting the FLPS students qualified swimmers, other kids would have the same opportunity to be apart of this and also become great swimmers.

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    • @Boy Mom says:

      BVI Swim SChool does swimming lessons around the territory year round and has summer programmes in all islands every summer.

  8. a says:

    sea water is way different from pool water. they need to learn to swim in sea water first.

    Like 3
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  9. Lol says:

    Wow, we now need a European Caucasion woman to come teachus how to swim. Have we really regressed. that far?

    There is not one from my and past generations, except for one or two girls, that cannot swim.

    It reflects poorly on usand the direction we are headed.

    Soon, we will be employing the European to teach us how to cook! Lol

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  10. @Thoughtful Sailor says:

    In the real world,whever there are the Cn.and money there will be biases, prejudices, unfairness and inequity performed against the needy,vulnerable and colored.

    Fancy dogma will never change on the ground realities.

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  11. hmmmm says:

    Best keep a careful check on those funds, ask for them all to be accounted for

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  12. Well Kiss My Black__ says:

    There s nothing scientific or hard about learning to swim.

    Get an inner car tire tube, blow it up, go to the beach, with a little watchful and instructive help if wanted or needed, and with a little effort one will be swimming with the sharks.

    Children have been learning to swim for centuries, now all of a sudden, we need a yt woman to come show them/us how to. Well kiss my Black a++!!

    What have we come come to?

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    • @my black - says:

      where are you offering the swimming lessons then? you don want a yt woman doing it- do it yourself. Why can 70% of local youth not swim if it’s this easy? classic begrudgery. what does it matter what her skin colour is when she’s working to improve children’s lives. smdh.

      • @@my black says:

        First, it does matter that she Caucasion, big time. In waht yt community anywhere in the worl can i go as a Black manor woman and get a swimming job? Name one.

        Your static of 70% is probably ficticious, but even so, there is a reason for that.

        Unlike when my generation were childre, today’s youth are generally sedentary. As a result,unlike s, they don spend a fraction of the time we use to spend at our beaches.

        Again, except for a few girls that spent most oftheir time at home, almost every other boy and girl knew how and swam very well in my childhood generation.

        The issue is a chage in life style and living, not they can’t do it without yt people’s help.

        Last, we appreciate the concern, but we should be left alone to traverse through life, as more than likely there is an alternative motive behind a yt. woman wanting to give children swimming lessons.

        As history as poignantly shown time after time, yt people do nothing for Black without, sometimes even sinister, a motive behind it.

        e aretwo different peoples, and one usually lives apart from the other by choice, ehates, exploits and has very negative views about the other. Hence it cannot and should not be trusted with our children. Their. history is to grave. Their. are toomuch blodd dripping from their hands.

        Leave us alone let us chart our wat forward.

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        • @@@ says:

          I am sorry you are so filled with negativity. Seeing bad motives where there is good.
          If the kids can do it without help, then why haven’t they?
          You make my heart sad.

        • Come see me says:

          Sorry you feel so concerned by my color but my intentions are true and the biggest reason is because I have been here for 22 years and have seen how Black people miss out on a bunch of opportunities because they can’t swim and have not been exposed to as many experiences as the people here coming on work permits who are mostly white.
          I did interview every child at FLPS so the stats are true and I have been providing 3 years of low cost / no cost watersports programs at Trellis Bay with the aim of every child in the BVI being able to swim, kayak, snorkel and sail.
          I would love you to come visit me in Trellis as the aim is for this to be a community project.

  13. Pool? says:

    Why do young humans learn to swim in a pool?

    It is safer for small children under age 6 but after that the best place to swim is in the salty sea. During the summer there are many calm beaches in the BVI that are excellent for group swimming lessons. Any sea swimmers that suffer eye irritation from salt water should wear goggles.

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