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Just Add Water Seminar aims to create safer aquatic facilities

Just Add Water Seminar aims to create safer aquatic facilities
August 17, 2015

Being held this week, the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA)'s Just Add Water Seminar (JAWS) will be bringing together aquatic sector professionals to improve water safety, increase participation and create safer aquatic facilities.

The three-day NZRA seminar, hosted at the Dunedin Centre from Wednesday 19th August, will feature high profile speakers including Nigel Latta, presenter of  'The Politically Incorrect Guide to…' series, who will illustrate the importance of risk in keeping people safe.

NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie said the event had a proud history as New Zealand’s premier aquatic sector event. This year’s conference would focus on the themes of relationships, reward and risk and examine issues ranging from water safety to the latest aquatic innovations.

Leslie explained "this event helps our aquatic sector to set the high standards it is recognised for, supporting planners and managers across New Zealand to achieve world-class facilities and a nation of people who are at home in the water.

“We know that aquatic facilities make massive contributions to our health, our quality of life, and also as desirable attractions to our cities and towns. These facilities are central to our communities, and planners are under constant pressure to develop pools that keep people safe and happy while also challenging them to build their skills and learn their limits in the water.”

Leslie said recent studies such as Sport New Zealand’s Active New Zealand Survey 2013-2014 showed increasing demand for recreation opportunities. Aquatic facilities were a key environment, not just for recreational use, but also for developing the swimming abilities and water safety skills essential for those who participate in natural settings such as lakes, rivers and the sea, he said.

The Active New Zealand Survey found 28.1% of New Zealand adults who participate in recreation at man-made facilities take part in indoor and outdoor pools, while 49.8% of those who participate in natural settings are active in rivers, lakes or the sea.

Leslie added "the statistics show that there is demand for recreational aquatic facilities and the benefits they offer. Councils must consider if their level of investment matches the recreation demand of their communities, not just today but in the future as well."

He concluded that JAWS was timely, with ongoing debate about what new aquatic facilities around New Zealand will provide for their communities, including planned sites in Mosgiel, Metro and Eastern facilities in Christchurch and the new Sir Owen Glenn national aquatic centre in Auckland.

JAWS is expected to attract a crowd of more than 150 professionals involved in delivering aquatic experiences. Topics discussed will include how to include people of all abilities, what is an appropriate level of risk, balancing recreational and economic concerns, health and safety, education, relationship building and the release of the 2014-15 PoolSafe Incident Report.

High profile speakers at the conference include former MasterChef winner Nadia Lim, who will explain the balance for tasty food to keep the motor running for all manner of aquatic activities, while Skills Active Chief Executive Grant Davidson will show what makes water safety messaging effective and how this has changed over the years.

Christchurch City Council’s Recreation and Sport Unit Western Area Manager Nigel Cox will relate the challenges and opportunities aquatic facilities face in meeting the needs of their communities through the rebuild and finding new innovations, and the opening ceremony will be officiated by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.

The conference will also feature the annual New Zealand National Lifeguard Team of the Year Competition, as well as the annual Aquatic Innovation Award and Lifeguard of the Year awards.

Click here to view conference details in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.



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