May 14, 2018
Grads, employees star in boating safety videos
Program designed for newcomers in Canada
Jinkyoung Ro is neither a paddle boarder nor an actress. But on a recent sunny day in Georgian Bay, she was both.
Ro is one of four Seneca grads and employees starring in a series of videos for STARTboating, a boating safety program launched by the Lifesaving Society, the Canadian Safe Boating Council and Public Safety Canada.
“It was a great experience for me to learn about boating. In Korea, where I’m from, paddle boarding is considered a rare sport,” said Ro, an English Language Institute (ELI) and Visual Merchandising Arts grad.
Now working as Office Assistant at ELI, Ro said that many newcomers in Canada are unfamiliar with how to prepare for activities on the water.
STARTboating targets newcomers in Canada who may be trying recreational boating for the first time by introducing them to powerboating, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. The program is available in six different languages.
In the videos, Ro ventures on a standup paddle board excursion with friend, Elena Lee, an ELI and Early Childhood Education grad.
Arslan Mahmood, Director, International Services, paddles a canoe with his daughter and a fellow volunteer.
Molly Van, Records Reporting Analyst, enjoys a fun ride in a powerboat with her husband and children.
The Seneca cast was called upon when Angela Dunn, Manager, International Admissions, was tapped by a personal connection of hers to assist with the project.
“Seneca has a diverse group of students and employees, both international and domestic,” Dunn said. “Many are newcomers in Canada and this is the group that we want to reach due to their lack of knowledge and experience in recreational water activities.”
Seneca has students from more than 140 countries. While international students represent about 30 per cent of the Seneca student population, that number doesn’t take into account newcomers in the remaining domestic population.
According to a 2010 research conducted by the Lifesaving Society, newcomers living in Canada for five years or less are four times more likely to be unable to swim than those born in Canada.
Did you know?
Canoes and powerboats under 5.5 metres account for 51 per cent of all boating-related deaths in Canada. Source: Lifesaving Society
Drowning is a significant cause of mortality in Canada. It’s the second leading cause of injury related to death in children under 10 and the third leading cause of unintentional injury death among Canadians under 60. Source: BMC Public Health
“That suggests they are at greater risk for drowning,” Dunn said. “Recreational boating is part of the Canadian experience and many newcomers do want to participate in water-based activities. We hope they will take the time to watch the interactive videos before they head out on the water.”