NZRA: ‘New Zealand’s aquatics industry and pool lifeguards are not failing’
The New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) have responded to claims by The International Federation of Swimming Teachers' Associations President David Speechley that the New Zealand aquatics industry is failing pool lifeguards and placing swimmers at risk.
An angry NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie stated “we do not agree with Mr Speechley’s claims.
“He has not cited where his data is coming from (for) according to the most recent figures from Water Safety NZ, public pool drownings in New Zealand - which includes council facilities, privately owned facilities and pools within schools and the accommodation sector - have occurred at an average of two per year over the last five years and are certainly not ‘continuing to rise’. “
Leslie says that Speechley’s accusation that the aquatics industry has ‘lack of rigour, assessment and continual improvement in public pool lifeguarding’, is inaccurate, adding “we work in conjunction with Skills Active, who provide a government standard qualification system.
“Training and qualifications are reviewed against international standards and we are comfortable that our system stacks up. We don’t stand still, we are constantly looking for continuous improvements.”
With Speechley questioning what is being done to achieve better supervision and stating that pool lifeguards are ill-prepared and unsupported, Leslie responded “through our Poolsafe system we monitor and update supervision standards.
“Poolsafe is an industry led, voluntary management system designed by the industry for the industry. It enables peer to peer assessment and moderates the delivery of public aquatic facilities services, with the direct intent to limit serious harm to their communities.
“Lifeguards receive regular ongoing training, a minimum of once every quarter, and are required to re-register every two years and complete first aid training to remain working as a lifeguard.”
Leslie ended by commending the dedication of New Zealand’s public pool lifeguards, concluding “the commitment and passion that we witness from lifeguards in this country is incredible and we should be proud of their continuing efforts to provide safety and support.”
Image: The PoolSafe accredited Rotorua Aquatic Centre.
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24th October 2016 - BEST PRACTICE AQUATIC INDUSTRY GUIDELINES FROM THE NZRA
16th June 2016 - ROTORUA AQUATIC CENTRE PASSES POOLSAFE ACCREDITATION
2nd February 2016 - NEW ZEALAND TO DEVELOP NATIONAL FACILITIES BENCHMARKING TOOL
9th June 2015 - US SWIMMING POOL INCIDENT HIGHLIGHTS HOW PEOPLE DROWN QUIETLY
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17th February 2014 - NEW ZEALAND’S BIG PICTURE OF ITS AQUATIC, RECREATION AND SPORT FACILITY NETWORK
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