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Accomplished swim coach named Westfield Local Hero

Accomplished swim coach named Westfield Local Hero
October 6, 2019

Belgravia Leisure Area Manager Craig Tobin has been honoured as a Westfield Local Hero in the Brisbane suburb of Carindale for his contribution to swimming for people with an intellectual disability.

The former national swimming coach was honoured at a special awards ceremony in Queensland on 1st October. For winning, Tobin picked up $10,000 which he will use to provide more swimming opportunities for swimmers through the Redlands Club of Special Olympics Australia.

Tobin has been involved in swimming for more than 40 years, including 23 years as a coach and aquatics and leisure centre manager, and 15 years in charge of Special Olympic and Down syndrome swimming squads.

Explaining his commitment, he states “the award brings recognition to the program and an increase awareness within the community we operate in.

“It brings athletes with a disability more into the mainstream. The more we can showcase the achievements of these athletes to the wider community the more acceptance we get. I have had several people from overseas contact me for specific advice on how to implement a similar program, something I’m also happy to assist with.”

With the award also recognising Belgravia Leisure’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, Tobin added “from a Belgravia perspective it shows my staff, contract partners and the community that at all levels of the business we are enacting the CLEAR values.

“We are actually connecting all communities to leisure, they are not just slogans. Many staff were unaware of the voluntary work that I do in this space.

“So I have been asked to mentor many staff with specialty areas within the area of disability swimming. I believe it has added another layer of respect within what we are trying to achieve in inclusion within the Moreton Bay Region.”

With such a vast amount of experience, Tobin’s three takeaways curated over a lifetime of teaching swimming are:

Lesson 1: We can all learn new skills no matter how long it takes us, lifelong learning is the key to success
Lesson 2: Work with the ability that you have be given
Lesson 3: As a coach, teacher or mentor we must be aware of how every training session has a different affect on the persons life.

Belgravia Leisure Chief Executive Nick Cox congratulated Tobin on his award, and his contribution to swimming, stating “Craig demonstrates the leadership and commitment we need to ensure disadvantaged and disabled people are given greater access to our centres and the important life skills swimming provides.

“We are very proud of him and his continuing success, and the number of people who benefit directly from his hard work and commitment. He’s an inspiration to many people at Belgravia Leisure, he inspires many others through his work and this award is much deserved.”

Image: Craig Tobin, courtesy of Belgravia Leisure.

Related Articles

3rd October 2019 - Belgravia Group to become first partner of Baseball5 League in Australia

1st October 2019 - Belgravia Group assumes ownership of additional JUMP! Swim Schools businesses

1st October 2019 - Belgravia Events takes Triathlon indoors in new series

9th September 2019 - Community nominates Belgravia Leisure swim coach as a Westfield Local Hero

27th August 2019 - Belgravia Leisure secures three wins at 2019 World Luxury Spa Awards

29th July 2019 - Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre named Belgravia Leisure’s Facility of the Year

9th July 2019 - Grant Connors moves from ARV to Belgravia Leisure

3rd June 2019 - Belgravia Leisure awarded for Refugees Breaking Down Cultural Barriers Program

6th December 2018 - Belgravia Leisure join supporters of 2019 Swimming Australia’s swim challenge

28th June 2016 - International Swim Disability Conference attracts key sponsorship

2nd August 2013 - Swimming Australia seeks input to research on barriers to disabled swimming

9th June 2011 - Special needs swimmers hoist launched at McKeon’s Swim Centre

26th April 2011 - ASCTA releases new Learners with Disability course


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