Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project

Speedo Swim Generation is looking to help 500 people in Sri Lanka access essential water safety education, as it looks to help eliminate the 855 deaths caused by drowning in the country each year.

We have partnered with the Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project to train four new swimming instructors, helping young women gain the skills they need to enjoy swimming safely.

For 13 years, the project has helped to save lives by teaching swimming and water safety to women and teenage girls with a focus to first FLOAT and BREATHE and THEN SWIM. It is the brainchild of Christina Fonfe, who was moved to act after witnessing the tragic 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami on her TV screen.

Within a month after the Tsunami, Christina was in Sri Lanka teaching children that to master fear of water was to be in it and enjoying it safely. It was whilst doing this that she discovered mothers bringing their children to lessons could not swim either.

To tackle this issue, Christina began offering free swimming lessons for adults, reinforced in her instincts by the Oxfam Report which identified that 80% of the tsunami victims were women and children. A decade later and having been decorated by HM The Queen for her efforts, her passion has intensified as her knowledge of the worldwide drowning burden has increased.

The support from Swim Generation will help to reinforce the project and deliver it on a wider scale, ensuring that women and teenage girls are the first to be taught to swim, on the premise that, as mothers and future mothers, they provide the first level of water safety for their children.

It’s a programme that effectively produces an ongoing chain of water safety, instilled in young people for future generations, ultimately helping to save lives by improving swimming competency throughout Sri Lanka.

Drowning facts for Sri Lanka*:

On average 855 people drown every year

The highest number of drowning deaths occur among people aged 25 – 44 years old

Most drowning deaths occur in lakes

Project achievements

Safety: 156 Women and teenage girls currently enrolled in Learn-to Swim Programme

Livelihoods: 4 Swimmers qualify as Student Swimming Teachers and Pool Safety First Responders

Support Provided: Donation of funds and products

To find out more about the Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project visit:

*Source: Drowning Prevention Report Sri Lanka 2014