Leading the state in water safety education

FRIENDS Health & Fitness has been crowned a leader in swimming and water safety education in Tasmania after being presented with an AUSTSWIM Recognised Swim Centre Award.

The award, which is presented annually as part of the AUSTSWIM State Awards, recognises a swim centre that has demonstrated excellence, commitment and innovation in the development and delivery of swimming and water safety programs.

Friends Health & Fitness assistant manager Toni Robinson said the centre was “very proud” to receive the state award, which recognised the impact Friends Health & Fitness has had on water safety education in Hobart.

“It is due to the dedication, commitment and constant upskilling of our caring staff that this award was received,” she said.

“We take great pleasure in watching the development of students under our tuition and it is an honour to see them grow and gain confidence.”

Ms Robinson said the Friends Health & Fitness Learn to Swim team had accomplished much in the past 12-months.

This included hosting a series of in-house workshops to hone teaching techniques and swimming skills, as well as have Marine and Safety Tasmania deliver a refresher course on boating and water safety.

“We were also fortunate to host a breaststroke master class session in June, facilitated by former Australian Olympic swimming coach Leigh Nugent,” she said.

“In the past 12-months, we have seen three trainees achieve their AUSTSWIM teaching qualifications and become instructors, with another three currently working toward their accreditation.”

With Tasmania’s vast coastline and numerous lakes and waterways, Ms Robinson said it was “extremely important” for children to have access to high quality aquatic education and water safety programs.

“Aquatic education ensures the necessary components of personal survival and water safety are provided,” she said.

“We have a number of children swimming every week in our program who learn not only how to swim but how to be safe in the water.

“Students practice survival strokes, rescues and are given information regarding safety in and out of the water – they will know what to do when faced with a water emergency, which could save their life or that of another person.

“In addition, the Learn to Swim program at Friends Health & Fitness develops a strong and effective swimming technique. It’s a skill for life.”

Friends Health & Fitness member and parent Anna congratulated the centre on receiving the AUSTSWIM award.

“Well done Friends Health & Fitness, there is no one more deserving of the award,” she said.

“The instructors are all so nurturing and have instilled a love and respect of water in my two boys.

“The lessons are always conducted in a very friendly and happy environment.”

Due to its success at the state awards, Friends Health & Fitness is now eligible for the National Swim Centre Award, which will be presented at the AUSTSWIM National Australian Conference, held on the Gold Coast on 28 September.

For more information about the AUSTSWIM Awards, visit www.austswim.com.au/Awards.aspx.

For more information about Friends Health & Fitness or to enrol in a Swim and Survive Learn to Swim program, phone 6210 2241.

Caption: Friends Health & Fitness Learn to Swim instructors, from left, Gail Palmer, Jade Strawbridge, Taylor Uren, Toni Robinson and Jenny Harman.