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New adult water safety classes are changing lives
February 10, 2023

As part of Wellington Shire Council’s efforts to educate adults to be safe in and around the water, Aqua Energy Leisure Centre in Sale has introduced adult water safety and learn to swim lessons.

It comes as the nation faces an on-going spike in drowning deaths, especially in older adults.  

According to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report for 2022:

  • 175 adults aged 25-64 years drowned in Australia in 2021/22 which is an 18% increase on the 10-year average.
  • 94 people aged 65 years and over drowned in Australia in 2021/22 which is a 57% increase on the 10-year average.

The drowning report also showed that adults need to think carefully about their own health and fitness before getting into the water.

Aqua Energy trialled water safety and learn to swim classes over the 2022/23 summer holiday period, fast becoming a life-changing experience for many community members. Aqua Energy saw a large number of adults take up the classes, learning how to swim, tread water in case of emergency and brush up on their water safety skills.  

Wellington Shire Council’s Manager Leisure Services, Ross McWhirter said “Initially, what we found was that parents from a variety of backgrounds would come into the facility and drop off their children for swimming lessons, but many adults didn’t know how to swim, practice water safety, or how to properly supervise and educate their children around water”.  

“We decided to introduce these classes after seeing a demand for it. There's many people in our community who have slipped through the cracks when it comes to understanding the dangers of water, knowing their limitations, and learning to swim to save themselves and others”.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Ian Bye commented that this season’s drowning toll is again too high.

“We are lucky to have an abundance of swimming spots available on our doorstep, whether that be Ninety Mile Beach, local rivers and lakes, and even backyard pools. There’s a lot to love about spending time in the water, but there is also high risks involved. Providing water safety classes to those who need it is a life changing preventative measure, and I’d encourage those who are cautious about water to sign up for next term” Cr Bye said.

Aqua Energy will be offering adult water safety and learn to swim lessons in the 2023 Term 1 school holidays, with the aim to grow the offering throughout the year.

Classes are 30 minutes and cost $15 per person.

While there is no limit to the number of classes you can participate in throughout the holiday period, classes will operate at the discretion of teacher availability.

Aqua Energy is a great community facility, where all ages can learn to swim and be safer around water. Aqua Energy teach vital water safety skills and have welcoming and inclusive staff to support learning, particularly if you are learning at a later stage in life.

Adults thinking about learning to swim are encouraged to contact Aqua Energy on 5142 3700.

Pool users are also encouraged to visit or follow the Aqua Energy Facebook page for more information.

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