Greater Auckland Aquatic Action Plan (GAAAP) is a collaborative project that coordinates 8-10 professionally delivered Water Skills for Life lessons to primary school children in the greater Auckland region, ensuring the development of fundamental water skills for life.
It is targeted towards low decile schools (1-6) and Year 3-6 students (7-10 year olds) and delivers approximately 153,000 lessons per year to 21,000 students, covering 152 decile 1-6 schools.
GAAAP is managed by Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation in partnership with Water Safety NZ, with regional coordination undertaken by Regional Sports Trusts. GAAAP is funded by Sport NZ (KiwiSport), Foundation North and Water Safety NZ.
Apply for GAAAP Funding
GAAAP funding is available to decile 1 to 6 primary schools and children in years 3 to 6.
It is only available to primary schools in the Greater Auckland Area excluding the Old Manukau City Council Boundaries which is covered by The John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation.
GAAAP currently has funding available for 20,000 students per year to participate in the programme. Once this number is reached no further funding will be allocated.
Prior to the lessons commencing all parties must have a fully signed GAAAP Memorandum of Understanding. Memorandums of Understandings cannot be done retrospectively, if a school has lessons without a Memorandum of Understanding signed by all parties GAAAP will not pay for the lessons.
To be eligible for GAAAP funding a school must register their interest.
What children learn
Children that participate in GAAAP are taught Water Safety New Zealand’s Water skills for life programme.
Traditionally, there has been a focus on learn to swim programmes in New Zealand. The assumption has been that if you learn to swim, you have the necessary basic skills to survive in the water. However, research papers, surveys, practical evidence from other parts of the world, as well as advice from New Zealand water safety sector experts indicates that the learning of a combination of water safety and swimming skills resulted in a reduction in young children drowning.
Based on this evidence, Water Safety NZ has found that there is a need for a greater emphasis on teaching water safety skills prior to stroke and distance focused swimming skills, and that offering exposure to a range of aquatic environments (such as rivers and cold open water where most New Zealand drownings occur) is a crucial part of water safety skills learning.
Other important information
All children/schools that participate in the programme are recorded on a national database that reports on impact and swim achievement outcomes. Baseline and progression data is recorded during a students’ first and last lesson and is monitored throughout their GAAAP journey. Data is uploaded and a series of reports are used to analyse in greater detail the swim skill ability of each individual child, class, school and region (Auckland, Harbour, Waitakere and Counties Manukau). Collectively, Aktive reports on the greater Auckland region.
The project also has a professional development focus for teachers and swim instructors to help them develop the knowledge to deliver water safety education in the pool and classroom.
Contacts for more information on the Greater Auckland Aquatic Action Plan
Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation
Jacqui Johnston – Project Manager
Find Your Field Of Dreams