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ARI Mentor Program participants engaged in ‘game changing’ industry projects

ARI Mentor Program participants engaged in ‘game changing’ industry projects
February 27, 2019

Using CCTV footage to help aquatic centre managers make better decisions and creation of a new tool to measure and respond to drownings and near misses are among the innovative projects being undertaken by participants in the 2019 Aquatic and Recreation Institute (ARI) Mentor Program.

The program, supported by principal sponsor Jonas Leisure, aims to help emerging aquatics industry leaders develop new skills by challenging them to complete a data-driven project that will further the industry.

Each team is provided with an experienced mentor and challenged to identify the types of data collected at their facilities and ways to use it to improve their facilities in a measurable way.

Jonas Leisure Chief Executive Mike Henton said seeing the development program participants and the “game changing” projects they came up with was becoming an annual highlight.

“Our industry is capturing more data than ever before but all too often its potential to improve the way we operate isn’t realised. One of the beauties of this program is how it encourages emerging leaders to think creatively about how data can transform their facilities and our future.”

This year, teams from Aquatic Safety Training Academy (ASTA), Belgravia Leisure, BlueFit Lane Cove, and Northern Beaches Council’s Manly Andrew Boy Charlton Pool are vying for the title.

The BlueFit Lane cove team is developing software that will analyse CCTV footage to help managers understand how well utilised and staffed spaces in their aquatic centre are, while Belgravia Leisure’s team is developing a new tool to measure and respond to drownings.

Emerging leaders from Manly Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Pool are working on a project to improve efficiency and collaboration between neighbouring aquatic centres, while ASTA’s team is exploring how staff empathy impacts the customer experience and perceptions of quality.

ARI Executive Officer Louise Magee said the high calibre of entrees suggested competition would once again be tough this year, adding “last year we saw some truly outstanding projects and this year looks to be no different. I’m really looking forward to seeing what mentees come up with in the coming weeks and months.”

The teams will develop their concepts over the coming weeks, and then have until the end of May to implement their projects and report back. Three teams will then be chosen to present their project at the ARI Conference and Trade Show in June, where it will be evaluated by an independent judging panel, and the winner announced at a Presentation Dinner.

Last year’s winner was a team of young professionals from BlueFit, which developed an online dashboard to make it easy for aquatic centre managers to track key facility operations and incident data.

ARI Mentor Program 2019: Participating teams and their projects

Aquatic Safety Training Academy (ASTA)
Team captain: Nikki Bradford
Team mentor: Alex Simmons

Project title: MODES (Mini Opportunities Developing Employee Success)
The MODES project will establish if the display of empathy by swim teachers is of importance to participants and others with in interest in learn to swim programs. MODES will focus on helping staff develop the soft skills involved in communication, feedback, building trust, and resilience to assist development of empathy towards others.

The project aims to establish if developing soft skills in the ASTA team will result in an increase in the perceived quality of the program by stakeholders including learn to swim instructors, parents, supervisors, students and the wider aquatic and recreation industry.

Belgravia Leisure
Team captain: Nathan Howes
Team mentor: Leanne Constantino
Project title: Lifeguard Intervention System Analysis (LISA)

The aim of this project is present the Lifeguard Intervention System Analysis (LISA) tool to measure and respond to high risk activities and help decrease the number of fatalities and non-fatal drownings at aquatic centres. The presentation of LISA will then be used to help further develop the system and showcase its capacities, with the aim of using LISA as a standard measure for regulation across the aquatic and leisure industry.

The team aims to expand the deliveries of the LISA system to create a wellbeing employee portal and red flag system for areas such as fatigue, confidence and the exhibition of certain behaviour types to ensure lifeguards can be monitored and strategies implemented to help with their wellbeing and delivery of duties.

BlueFit Lane Cove
Team captain: Stewart Morris
Team mentor: Amanda See
Project title: BlueFit Optimal

The BlueFit BlueFit Optimal project aims to use CCTV equipment and footage from various areas of the BlueFit business to help managers make better decisions in the workplace. These decisions might relate to staffing, safety and usage of space or equipment.

The BlueFit team realised that the abundance of video footage within their Lane Cove venue could be used to help make accurate business decisions. They have identified an opportunity to create an interface that would gather video data and make it available as an addon module to any current software system. The team are looking at developing software to make this data accessible, and quick and easy for managers to read and understand.

The project will help managers gauge how many hours spaces within their facilities are used for, and lead to other benefits including cost savings, increased safety, more accurate reporting, and opportunities to increase usage of under-utilised spaces.

Northern Beaches Council – Manly Andrew Boy Charlton Pool
Team captain: Will Groth
Team mentor: Sue Raven
Project title: The Svette Streamline

This project aims to identify opportunities to streamline the internal services Warringah Aquatic Centre and Manly Andrew Boy Charlton Aquatic Centre in order to assist the Northern Beaches Council’s overall amalgamation after the 2016 New South Wales Government boundary changes.

Specifically, the project will focus on streamlining operations across the two aquatic centres’ reception, administration, swim school, lifeguards, fitness, and crèche and events departments.

It will promote a collaborative approach to the Northern Beaches Council’s aquatic and leisure services to improve areas such as employee induction, employee rostering, employee training and professional development, and cross-training of employees across the two aquatic centres and their departments.

Benefits will include reduced associated costs across all areas, development of consistency across the two aquatic centres and more opportunities for the community through continuity of services. The project will also lead to creation of a talent pipeline by upskilling employees, increased transparency across both aquatic centres, utilisation of employee skillsets across both centres, and strengthened ties and collaboration across the two centres.

Click here for more information on the ARI Annual Conference in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Image: The Manly Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Pool

Related Articles

26th February 2019 - Jonas Leisure recognises Australian fitness providers for delivering exceptional customer experiences

16th November 2018 - Aquatic and Recreation Institute gives voice to young leaders

12th November 2018 - BlueFit expands facility management operations in Victoria

17th October 2018 - Jonas Leisure named as leading communicator among leisure businesses in Australia and New Zealand

8th October 2018 - Second year of ARI Mentor Program builds on success of inaugural challenge

10th July 2018 - Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre named ARI Aquatic Facility of the Year

27th June 2018 - Time-saving aquatics reporting tool gains industry recognition

4th June 2018 - BlueFit and Lane 4 merge contract management operations

29th September 2017 - Jonas Leisure backs ARI’s new Mentor Program

15th June 2016 - Controversial Manly Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Aquatic Centre gets official opening


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