In Australia it’s easy to take for granted the joy of immersing yourself in the cool of a pool, but the Aquadome’s swimming instructors regularly see the joy that stepping into the water for the first time provides. ^^ Aquadome swimming instructors (from left) Rachel Powell, Taylor Wachtel, Mel Gilbert and Sam Wharton with their Recreation SA Award. Photo: Rob McLean The Aquadome recently won a Recreation SA Award for its programs that introduce under-privileged local children and adults to the joys of swimming.
Aquadome aquatic director Sam Wharton said the YMCA-operated facility’s programs allow children and adults to learn swimming skills that make them comfortable and competent in the water.
“It’s about getting as much of the community involved in swimming as possible,” Sam said.
“We offer classes for under-privileged children and we offer an aquaplay group, which is low cost, to help parents who cannot normally afford swimming lessons.”
The Aquadome offers accessible swimming classes for kids under the guardianship of the state, along with programs operated with Anglicare’s support.
Meanwhile, a very important swimming program has seen new arrivals to Australia, particularly Sudanese, taking to the pool for the first time.
There’s very little opportunity to learn to swim in the desert nation of Sudan, so when Sudanese people move to Australia water play can be fraught with danger.
“That’s (learning to swim) very critical when moving to a new country and a lot of them (the Sudanese) have never been in a swimming pool before,” Sam said.
Watching the new arrivals enter the pool for the first time provides some interesting moments.
“They are pretty scared when they get in for the first time but then they get in and the kids enjoy it and appreciate it so much,” Sam said.
The Aquadome runs several cost-effective swimming programs and also accepts the South Australian Government’s sports vouchers, meaning all families in the north can access quality water safety training.
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