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Special needs swimmers hoist launched at McKeon’s Swim Centre

Special needs swimmers hoist launched at McKeon’s Swim Centre
June 9, 2011

A new hoist for special needs swimmers has been launched at McKeon's Swim Centre in Unanderra, NSW.

The new hoist results from the efforts of a number of local organisations who came together to fund a new one as a result of hoist used by people with disabilities to enter the pool at McKeon's Swim Centre broke down after many years of service.

Headway Illawarra, a local organisation providing support for people with Acquired Brain Injury, has been sending their clients to McKeon's Swim Centre for hydrotherapy classes for many years. The popularity of these sessions, and the large cost of a new hoist, prompted them to appeal to local registered clubs for assistance through the Community Development and Support Expenditure Scheme (CDSE).

Generous donations from Dapto Leagues Club, Collegians Rugby League Club, Berkeley Sports Club and the Fraternity Club enabled the purchase and installation of a new safe and reliable hoist built by Para Mobility at McKeon's Swim Centre.

As Headway Illawarra Chief Executive John Roach explains "fortunately our appeal to local CDSE clubs was heard and the brand new hoist has now been installed through their outstanding generosity for everyone who needs it to use."

The new hoist has proved extremely popular.

As Liz Green, No Limits Coordinator at McKeon's Swim School, explains "the hoist is used by a number of local groups to help people with limited mobility, special needs and injuries to enjoy a range of aquatic activities. We offer a number of specialised learn to swim, water safety and fitness activities for our No Limits swimmers. We believe that people with special needs can achieve amazing things in the water, hence the No Limits title."

McKeon's Swim School General Manager Lloyd Rothwell explains "water is a forgiving healer; it's caressing and stimulating effects on people with special needs is most remarkable. Zero gravity allows for freedom that does not exist on the dry land. Optimal learning conditions, combined with kindness and patience, can release a withdrawn or hurting person from their shell. "

An official launch for the hoist was held on Wednesday 1st June, with a great turnout from the local community and stakeholders involved.

Rothwell adds "the day was a huge success for McKeon's Swim School, Headway Illawarra and Para Mobility. In particular, the story of Sharon Holtz, a local woman with Cerebral Palsy touched us all.

"Sharon is an inspiration. Wheelchair-bound and racked with pain on land, she can walk and float independently in the water. Since commencing her aquatics program she has become stronger in her limbs, her core strength has improved, her range of flexibility has increased, and her pain levels have decreased."

The story has received extensive coverage from WIN News and local newspapers, further highlighting the importance of aquatic programs for people with disabilities and limited mobility.

McKeon's Swim School offers No Limits classes with qualified swimming teachers to meet the individual needs of the students involved.

The WIN News clip on the launch of the hoist can be viewed on YouTube at

Image shows WIN News' coverage of the Para Mobility hoist at McKeon's Swim Centre.

Click here to contact Para Mobility Australia via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Related Articles

7th June 2011 - ASCTA releases Swim Australia Teacher of Learners with Disability course

26th April 2011 - ASCTA releases new Learners with Disability course

9th April 2010 - Swim Australia Launches New Courses for Teens and Adults

5th June 2009 - Report Calls for ‘more facilities for physical activity’

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