Since 2011, Speedo has been sponsoring a number of water safety projects across the globe with the ambition for a world where everyone everywhere has the right to be able to swim, and reduce accidental drowning. Speedo supports life-saving projects around the world, and has helped partner organisations to reach over 600,000 people to date.
Drowning has been labelled a “global emergency” by the World Health Organisation*, as shocking statistics demonstrate that drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death worldwide, with at least 372,000 people losing their lives to drowning every year. That’s a staggering average of 1,000 people every day.
“The number of unintentional drowning deaths each year globally, particularly these numbers among young people, is unacceptable,” said Rob Brown, Speedo International’s Head of Governance & Corporate Responsibility. “The good news is that the majority of the accidents can be prevented: That’s why we’ve made our commitment to work closely with some of the world’s most prominent water safety experts and lifesaving organisations, helping to save thousands of lives across the world.”
The inspiration behind Speedo’s global initiative came about in India, when members of Speedo travelled from Nottingham and visited various regions and cities around the subcontinent, including Jaipur in Rajasthan, and Delhi. The team visited government officials as well as community leaders, where they were encouraged to give back to the community in a way that made sense with the Speedo community: To help prevent drowning, to teach underprivileged people the basics of water safety and swimming, and encourage others to make ripples in their communities by passing on their new experience and skills. This inspired the team at Speedo to engage with many charities, from the UK to India and beyond; not teaching how to do the crawl, or the butterfly, but simply learning how to stay safe in the water or nearby.
Acting as a catalyst for change, Speedo provides practical support in the form of donations of financial funding, Speedo products, skills and expertise to projects in operation across the globe. Working with established charity partners at home and abroad, such as the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB), Speedo supports vital life saving projects, enabling them to prosper and positively impact local communities.
Through these initiatives, Speedo hopes to inspire everyone, everywhere to look out for each other in, on and near water helping to keep themselves and others safe. Not enough people understand the dangers and risks associated with water. Raising awareness and providing people with skills and knowledge is critical to have a lasting impact on drowning prevention.
*The 2014 Global Report on Drowning from the World Health Organisation highlights drowning as a global emergency: www.who.int/violenceinjuryprevention/globalreportdrowning/en/