Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…read more
Royal Life Saving survey suggests that swim school enrolments fell by 30% in August
A survey reportedly undertaken by Royal Life Saving Society - Australia has found that swim school enrolments fell during August this year fell by as much as 30%, compared to August 2019.
As described by Aquatics and Recreation Institute (ARI) Executive Officer, Louise Magee "this decline in enrolments can in part be explained by closures breaking the participation chain, safety concerns and cost pressures.
"However, there are marked differences in falls from state to state, with some states showing very positive participation rates.
With Royal Life Saving collating and analysing learn-to-swim enrolment patterns across Australia, Magee wrote "as we all know children’s swimming and water safety skills are critical to drowning prevention, and lifelong love of water. Australia’s reputation in this area is world leading, as are our aquatic centres and swim schools", adding "the operation of aquatic centres and swim schools across summer 2020/21 is vital to community health and well being, and to protect their long-term future. Aquatic facility and swim school businesses operate on very thin margins, meaning even a small change can have detrimental impacts, meaning without support some will not re-open this summer.”
The Royal Life Saving study estimates that impact of falling enrolments is four-fold:
• Children miss out of learning vital skills, which may have generational impacts on drowning risk
• A fall in lessons, means further loss of jobs, which disadvantages young people and women
• A fall in income, threatens the viability of small and medium business in the industry
• This may prompt prolonged closures at a time where community needs their local pool most
Magee went on to advise "one solution that is being investigated is the potential for incentive systems to encourage parents to re-enrol their children in lessons.
"NSW is well placed to expand such as system given the success of the NSW Active Kids Vouchers. An expansion of this program, with a dedicated stream for swimming and water safety lessons across summer would make a big difference, as would widespread support for vacation programs."
The alliance of industry peak bodies, facility operators and program and activity providers is believed to be monitoring the situation in each state and territory and has committed to collect enrolment data again in September to monitor the situation as the weather warms up, and more pool open for the season.
Australian Water Safety Strategy Consultation Draft
The Australian Water Safety Council has just completed a call for feedback to the Consultation Draft of the Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030.
The Australian Water Safety Strategy guides approaches to reducing drowning and promoting water safety across Australia. In the past, it has brought new focus in areas including non-fatal drowning, reducing drowning in multicultural communities, at unpatrolled beach locations, while boating and in inland waterways.
Royal Life Saving has been the project manager for the Strategy development process, which included a stakeholder workshop in October 2019, which established a vision, purpose and identified key priority areas. This created a framework which was presented for feedback in February/March 2020. A working group which includes key staff from Royal Life Saving and Surf
Life Saving has been drafting the strategy since April, and consulting technical experts as required.
The Strategy 2030 aims to establish a framework that achieves three objectives all focused on reducing drowning and promoting safe use of waterways:
• To identify the key drowning prevention priorities, areas of focus and approaches;
• To inspire stakeholders, Governments, NGOs and the private sector to coordinated action;
• To establish a roadmap for those actions that may be monitored, supported, and celebrated.
The Strategy 2030 proposes five priority areas: People, Populations, Places, Activities and Risk Factors. Within each Priority Area, three issues have been prioritised:
• Where the burden is proportionally highest;
• Where the issue is emerging and/or drowning is most preventable; and
• Whether the issue is sufficiently defined, so that actions can be targeted.
In a statement, Royal Life Saving advised "drowning prevention everywhere but especially in Australia, requires collaboration and partnership. The new Strategy 2030 is key to that focus and relies on wide consultation, so we encourage you to add some input."
11th September 2020 - Blue Mountains aquatic facility closed after attendance by positive COVID-19 case
7th September 2020 - LIWA Aquatics partners with Australasian Leisure Management
19th March 2020 - Drownings fall across Australian summer of extremes
16th April 2019 - Aquatic Industry Committee opens Industry Workforce Survey
10th September 2020 - Fitness Australia confirms Melbourne gyms to reopen from 26th October
4th September 2020 - Extension announced for AUSTSWIM Swim Centre Recognition
10th August 2020 - Australian Swim Schools’ virtual conference a huge success
30th April 2020 - ASSA raises concerns over future of swim schools
16th November 2018 - Aquatic and Recreation Institute gives voice to young leaders
27th February 2019 - ARI Mentor Program participants engaged in ‘game changing’ industry projects
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