Pool thrill for first-timers

Smiles were almost as big as the splashes when refugee and migrant children went swimming for the first time on Monday.

Bibi Hamida Nasari, who arrived from Afghanistan nine months ago, cheered quietly as her six children cavorted in Auburn pool.

"We had a river nearby but not anything they could swim in. They didn't have any opportunity to swim before they came here," Ms Nasari, whose children are aged between 2 and 11, said.

"They are enjoying it very much. They are very happy children."

The week-long swimming program was organised by community group Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association.

The children of all ages and nationalities shared the excitement of learning to swim.

Sarah Albadri, 11, from Guildford, said she was nervous when she first got into her swimsuit.

"Today is my first time and it was really fun," Sarah, who was learning to swim with her sister Mariam, said.

"I know it was to help in the future. The teacher told me to relax and just be confident."

The association's vice-president Bibi Goul Mossaui said the program provided a way for those who had just arrived in the country to make friends.

"It's beneficial for everyone. It's not just good for the kids, it's great for the parents as well. They can come here and experience their kids' enjoyment and make new friends themselves as well," Ms Mossaui said.

And by the end of the morning lesson, the most difficult part was getting the kids out of the pool.

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