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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > September 2017 > ESSENTIAL LIFE SKILLS


Around 50 children drown in Bangladesh every day. Becky Horsbrugh travelled to Sreepur Village north of Dhaka to teach children to swim as part of a drowning prevention programme


I held out my hand to seven-yearold Salman and beckoned to him to get in. A huge grin swept across his face and he chuckled loudly as he ignored my assistance and instead jumped in the pond, splashing me with water. But I didn’t really care. I was as happy as he was, as I was achieving my ambition to help out with teaching swimming in rural Bangladesh. My trip had taken several months of planning and began when I first came across an article about, of all things, young girls playing cricket in the country. That led me to find out more about a British-run charity called Sreepur Village based around 60 kilometres north of the capital Dhaka, where the girls lived. I then began to read about how big an issue child drowning was in the country and how it was the leading cause of child death. I then knew I had to go there to try and help in whatever little way I could, being a qualified swimming teacher myself. The statistics really are quite shocking. Around 50 children a day die in Bangladesh in the water.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Flicking through my Facebook feed on a weekend I am always astounded by the sheer variety of challenges swimmers around the world take on, from wild dips to awe-inspiring marathon swims. This past month Caroline Block finished just short of a two-way North Channel crossing; Chloë McCardel announced her new world record attempt – a four-way English Channel; and Sarah Thomas swam into the record books with a 104-mile swim in Lake Champlain. It often makes me feel very inadequate! But sometimes swimming is about more than just swimming This issue we look at how you can give back to the swimming community, and Becky Horsbrugh visits Bangladesh to work for a drowning prevention charity. Author Victoria Whitworth talks about the transformative power of swimming outdoors and coach Mat Hudson explains how to swim strong for life. Plus, wildlife, nutrition, training, wild swimming and reviews. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor