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Hoi An Swimming Program 2010

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 28, 2010

MIchael Johnston at Sunday's ANZAC Day Dawn Service, Long Tan

On ANZAC Day at Tommy’s Bar for the live telecast of the match between Essendon and Collingwood, the Swannies auctioned an Essendon jumper signed by Essendon Captain, Jobe Watson, a footy signed by Nathan Buckley and Garry O’Donnell and a Swannies Kit. The money was being raised to support a swimming program in Central Vietnam. Michael Johnston, who has been the driving force behind the Swans supporting a swimming program has written the following article.


They mightn’t have known what we were doing on the ground for 60 minutes of football, but the children from the DONG PHUC Orphanage in Vung Tau had a good time greeting us as we arrived at the match venue and watching us perform highly skilled and imaginative feats with the Sherrin (Fabbo’s scissor kick goal a la Pele!).  Following the short football clinic conducted by Swans members the day before at the Orphanage, some of the children might have known what to do on the football field.

Sadly, too many children of their age don’t know what to do in the water and 40 children under the age of 15 are estimated to drown each day in Viet Nam.  Drowning is the number 1 killer of children in this age group in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam Swans are determined to assist with swimming programmes that provide “Train the Trainer” courses so that more people are skilled and qualified to teach other people how to be swimming coaches.


Hoi An Swimming Project, Palm Gardens

Our first project is taking place in Hoi An under the guidance of Ms Joanne Stewart from TriBob, a triathlon organising company.   TriBob is providing some sponsorship, but Jo and her volunteers are continually seeking extra sponsorship to cover the costs of the 2010 programme.


After the Dawn Service at Long Tan, the Swannies relocated to Tommy’s Bar in Vung Tau and commenced Friendship Match post mortems.  During this hectic de-briefing session, the atmosphere was electric as football memorabilia were auctioned in an attempt to reach a target of US$1,000 to “Train MORE Swimming Trainers”.

Unlike Thit Cho, the 3-legged mutt that limped home in the last at Vung Tau Dish lickers on the Saturday night after the footballers had vacated the venue, the Swannies’ auctioneers raced to the front and 19.5 million (USD1,030) dong was pledged from the enthusiastic crowd in record time.  Go Swannies, you good thing!

This will be enough to assist with the AustSwim certification programme for the PE Teachers and to provide transport for all the children coming from rural schools into the central Hoi An primary school that has a shallow pool.  Some older children are also undertaking lessons at a pool kindly provided free of charge by Palm Gardens Resort.


The Hoi An Swimming Project has the support of the Quang Nam Provincial Government, and Jo is currently going through the process of registering the Project as an International Non-Government Organisation.  This will ensure the Project continues with an internationally recognised identity that can easily receive and expend funds.

For further information about assisting this worthy cause, either financially or as a volunteer, please contact the Swans’ Hoi An member, Michael Johnston, via


From March 1st until mid-August, there will be four 6-week programmes, each consisting of 12 children per lesson with:

  • 3 lessons in the morning at Luong The Ving primary school, Hoi An:
  • 4 lessons in the afternoon at the primary school; and
  • 2 lessons in the afternoon at Palm Gardens Resort.

17 schools will participate with a total of 672 children receiving 18 hours of lessons each.

A Physical Education Teacher from the local provincial schools will observe each lesson.  By the end of the project, each PE teacher will have observed between 15 and 40 lessons.

16-24 PE Teachers will then be given a 1-week “Train the Trainer” course so that they will have the skills to teach swimming classes as well as to be able to pass on their coaching skills to other coaches.  The “Train the Trainer” course is being organised in conjunction with the Director of AustSwim.

For coaches in 2010, Jo has 4 Vietnamese coaches returning from 2009, plus 6 volunteers coming to Viet Nam.  Also, there will be a qualified AustSwim instructor coming to the programme from June until August to work with the “Train the Trainer” course.


On Monday afternoon, April 26th, a group of school children went into the water at An Bang Beach near Hoi An.  One 12-year-old boy didn’t come out.  His body was found 4km north of An Bang at 5.30am on Tuesday.

8 Responses to “Hoi An Swimming Program 2010”

  1. Caroline said


    I will be staying in Hoi An from the 31st Aug to 5th Sept and I’m an Austswim qualified Swim Instructor as well as a registered Junior Squad Coach with Swimming Australia. I would love to volunteer to teach the kids to swim for some of my stay.

    Kind Regards

    • Dear Caroline

      Thank you very much for your email and interest in assisting with the swimming program in Hoi An.

      I shall contact you separately with details.

      Thank you again for your interest.


      Phil Johns
      National President
      Vietnam Swans

  2. kerry said

    would like to volunteer to instruct swimming

  3. Hi Kerry

    Thank you for your interest in the swimming program. We shall put you in contact with the TriBob Swimming Program in Hoi An.


    Phil Johns
    Vietnam Swans

  4. said

    i need a 2010 swimming program for my school in nigeria pls send it to me i will be very very happy. thanks alot. love your work…..

    • MJ said

      Suggest you contact

      Justin Scarr
      Chief Operating Officer
      The Royal Life Saving Society Australia
      PO Box 558 Broadway NSW 2007

      Now organising Life Saving Classes in Viet Nam and has done them around Asia.

  5. Tuong said

    Hi there,

    I am a PE Teacher, I do go swimming sometimes and I like it and would love to do swimming instructor course anywhere in Vietnam, it would be great if you could let me know how to register my name and when the courses are available.

    Many thanks


  6. Hi Tom

    Thanks for your interest in the swimming program.

    When will you be here in Vietnam and we can forward your details through to the Hoi An Swimming Program.

    You can email me at


    Phil Johns
    National President
    Vietnam Swans

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