Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project Receive Support From Speedo

In 2017, Speedo 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 Speedo 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.

Project Achievements:

– 156 women and teenage girls currently enrolled in Learn to swim programme

– 4 swimmers qualify as student swimming teachers and pool safety first responders

2019 Update

Speedo are excited to announce their continued support to Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project by funding the development of an app which would be designed to gather evidence-based facts, up-loadable daily or weekly, of what is achieved by teaching people to swim in less time with a higher focus on survival skills.

The app would also be used for teachers to show video clips of what and how students can get to the next survival swimming skill. This would guarantee consistent, replicate-able training by all teachers, no matter how inexperienced they were in giving their own demonstrations.

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

*Source: Drowning Prevention Report Sri Lanka 2014



Writer and expert