Time to keep safe swimming skills afloat

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Surrounded by major rivers, lakes and ponds, the ACT community is not immune to the dangers of water. This is a sponsored post.

WITH the nearest beach a couple of hours away, it’s important to remember the water risks that Canberrans face around the region. 

Surrounded by major rivers, lakes and ponds, the ACT community is not immune to the dangers of water and, over the 2017/18 financial year, rivers, creeks and streams saw the largest number of drownings nationally. 

Now, as the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time for people of all ages to enrol into a swimming class, practice already learnt skills or dive into the physical benefits of swimming as exercise. 

School gets newborns swimming

THE key to safety in the water for children is getting them to start swimming as young as possible, says Alena Sarri, the founding director of Aquatots. 

“Babies are born with the ability to swim, they were in amniotic fluid for nine months,” she says. 

“The longer you wait the more they lose that natural, innate ability. Our aim is to start infants young, from six-weeks-old, so they can carry on with the skills they were born with.”

Aquatots is a family-owned and operated local business that specialises in teaching infants to swim and caters for all children aged from six weeks through to swim squad level. 

If young children feel comfortable in an aquatic environment, Alena says they’re more likely to be safe. 

“Statistics show that the under-fives are most at risk,” she says. 

“Our baby program helps infants develop their strength, coordination and motor skills while enhancing their enjoyment in the water.

“Learning to swim should not only be about learning the strokes but also incorporate a swim and survive element.

“Teaching babies to swim from under the age of one makes them safer in and around water earlier on in life, which is vital from a swim and survive point of view.

“We teach them the tools to feel confident in their abilities, so they don’t panic if there is an emergency.”

Aquatots classes are held in four locations, including Club Googong, Black Mountain School in O’Connor, Gold Creek Country Club and its own facility in Forde. 

Aquatots Swim Centre, 30 Francis Forde Boulevard, Forde. Call 6162 0507 or visit aquatots.com.au

Swimming classes for all ages

LEARNING to swim is an essential life skill and needs to take priority for all children, says Toni Taylor, team leader of aquatics at Q-ONE Aquatics Queanbeyan. 

“Unfortunately the statistics of drownings speak for themselves so I can’t stress how important it is to teach kids to swim,” says Toni, who has extensive experience as a swimming teacher and lifeguard at Q-ONE.  

“We teach children from six-months-old up until teenagers.   

“We also run adult swimming classes to help give everyone the opportunity to be confident and safe in water.”

Toni says people learning how to swim is incredibly rewarding, especially when they get to the point where they have the ability to save themselves should they fall into water. 

Q-ONE Aquatics Queanbeyan has had some huge upgrades since it opened in 1961 as the Queanbeyan War Memorial Swimming Pool, and it now offers swimming classes every day of the week. 

“It has been much loved and patronised since then and has seen some significant upgrades such as a 25m indoor pool in 2004 and a ‘wet play area’ in 2018,” says Toni. 

Swimming isn’t just a great skill for safety reasons but Toni says it’s also a great exercise.

“Not only can you cool off on a hot day but there are the associated health benefits,” she says. 

Q-One Aquatics Queanbeyan, corner of Crawford and Antill Streets, Queanbeyan. Call 6285 6346, email aquatics@qprc.nsw.gov.au or visit q-one.com.au 

Safe swimming prevents drownings 

LEARNING to be safe in and around water is the best preventative measure to reduce drownings, says the manager of the swim school at AIS Aquatic and Fitness Centre, Troy Barden. 

“Royal Life Saving Australia’s 2019 annual drowning report has recorded 276 deaths in Australian waterways,” he says. 

“Learn to swim programs are a key part of trying to get this number down to zero. 

“That is why at the AIS Aquatic and Fitness Centre we teach a progression of skills in a safe, educational and supportive environment with a balance of water safety and stroke correction.”

Troy says the swim school offers quality swimming lessons at an affordable price and the holiday intensive program, which is run four times a year outside of the swimming terms, is also a popular option for families. 

“Our feedback tends to reflect that what sets us apart from other learn-to-swim providers is that our program provides quality lessons without ‘breaking the bank’,” Troy says.

“Our water is the cleanest in Canberra and our program operates in a historically important piece of Australian sporting history.” 

The facility, which has free parking, an onsite gym and a cafe, includes a 25m and 50m pool, with teaching platforms used for the younger levels in the 25m pool. 

AIS Aquatic and Fitness Centre, Leverrier Street, Bruce. Call 6214 1050, email swimschool@ausport.gov.au or visit experienceais.com

Hydrotherapy pool helps with recovery 

LOCATED at the Hotel Realm precinct in Barton, Evo Health Club’s 25m, heated, indoor pool facility is the only one of its kind in Canberra’s inner-south, says operations manager Cindy Hansen.

Cindy says their state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool is popular for rehabilitation and recovery needs. 

“Doctors often recommend to go to our pool because, as a hydrotherapy pool, it’s great for rehabilitation,” she says.

But Evo Health Club offers more than a place to recover, and Cindy says the precinct has a hydrotherapy spa, sauna and steam room, among a variety of high-end Technogym equipment in its workout area.

In the workout area, Cindy says they have personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches and they also offer group classes such as spin classes, boxing, yoga and high intensity interval training.

Catering down to the smallest needs, Cindy says they look after clientele with personal towels and lockers, which she believes really do matter.

“People really do care that they get a towel or a locker and a lot of places don’t offer that,” she says.

Another thing Evo Health Club customers love is the intimate setting and small community atmosphere, says Cindy.

Evo Health Club, Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton. Call 6162 0808 or visit evohealthclub.com.au

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