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CASA Leisure opens Mutitjulu pool for its second season
With summer fast approaching Casa Leisure is gearing up for the reopening of the Mutitjulu Tjurpinytjaku Centre (Mutitjulu Swimming Pool) for its second year of operation.
The Pool’s inaugural swimming season was a great success with over 6,500 pool visits between September 2013 and April 2014 and 80% of pool users being local Mutitjulu residents.
Mutitjulu Working Group and Pool Committee member Barbara Tjikatu explained “all the kids are happy to be able to swim and we’ve had a lot of visitors from Utju, Docker and Imanpa.”
The Pool has not only been enjoyed by the local children but also the elderly and those with disabilities and their therapists because of the hydraulic lift that eases people into the pool.
Tjikatu, a wheelchair user, added “that’s a good thing (as) when it gets hot again I may have a swim”.
Tjikatu also explained that the Pool has helped a young local girl with a physical disability, stating “through swimming she’s got stronger, running around”.
Freddie Couldwell, who is employed by Casa Leisure is once again looking forward to returning to Mutitjulu for the next swimming season.
Couldwell believes he has found the dream job saying “you’re right next to Uluru, helping to make things better for people and seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces.
“It’s better than any office job”.
The Mutitjulu community is also looking forward to welcoming Couldwell back, as Tjikatu explains “he’s been good. The kids like him.
“He’ll work side by side with Anangu workers. We will be happy to have him back to look after the kids.”
Last season with the guidance of the Mutitjulu Pool Committee and the Central Land Council (CLC), Casa Leisure implemented the highly successful ‘Yes school – Yes pool’ policy.
Couldwell explains “the school Principal attaches a paper band to the kids’ wrists after they have attended school for a full day.
“She writes the date on the band and initials it. The kids can then come to the pool and enjoy a swim after school.
“If there is no wrist band, the kids are not permitted to swim that day. There are no excuses”.
Casa Leisure believes the opening of the pool has been such a success due to the excellent guidance of the Mutitjulu Pool Committee and the unwavering support of the CLC.
The Mutitjulu Pool Committee, which is made up of Aboriginal community members plus one representative each from Casa Leisure and the CLC, enables local people to decide how they want their pool run.
The CLC worked with Mutitjulu community members to plan the construction and operation of the pool, which traditional owners have invested $1.5 million of their own national park rent money in.
Casa Leisure General Manager Rob Heinjus concludes “we are excited to, once again, be managing the day-to-day operations of the Pool.
“To have someone on the ground like Freddie who has the support of the local community has been excellent and we look forward to welcoming him back into the role again this season.
“Last season we had a number of locals support Freddie’s role at the pool on a temporary basis, this year we would like to see someone within the community employed for the entire swimming season”.
This next season will see Casa Leisure work further with the Mutitjulu Pool Committee, the local community and the Central Land Council to extend partnerships within the community. Events and youth services will be introduced, opening times expanded for childcare so that mums can attend with their young children as well as a greater number of aged throughout before the afternoon rush.
The Mutitjulu Swimming Pool opens on 26th September.
For more information visit www.casaleisure.com.au
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