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Western Leisure Services launches Australia’s first AquaFit program

Western Leisure Services launches Australia’s first AquaFit program
February 27, 2020

Australia’s first complete water-based exercise and rehabilitation program, Aquafit, was launched today (Thursday, 27th February) by Western Leisure Services at AquaPulse in Hoppers Crossing.

The innovative concept, aimed at aquatic therapy through reduced weight-bearing exercise, is the result of almost 18 months of development and trialling at Wyndham City’s showcase aquatic and recreation centre.

A selection of state-of-the-art SplashFit aquatic equipment including cross-trainers, underwater bikes and aquatic walkers has been permanently located in a section of the AquaPulse pool and will be available for casual rehabilitation use, together with structured exercise classes. It is planned that the area will also be available for hire to third party users such as physiotherapy and exercise physiology groups.

Western Leisure Services Chief Executive Alison Dixon, was excited for the organisation to be at the forefront of innovation in the health and fitness area and praised the foresight of staff and management.

Dixon enthused “we are always conscious of ways to improve and promote health and fitness and our aim is to use the excellent facilities we manage to their absolute best. Investing in new equipment and launching AquaFit does just that.

“The initial idea came from one of our passionate and dedicated staff members, Peter Leckie, who researched and drove the development of the concept with the support of management. I’m excited with the result and firmly believe that this program will grow to become a staple in aquatic facilities across Australia.”

Leckie has been employed with Western Leisure Services since the AquaPulse opened five years ago, starting as a lifeguard and working his way up to his current role as Facilities Coordinator.

During this time he completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement majoring in clinical rehabilitation, which spurred his interest in exploring aquatic exercise equipment.

Leckie commented “I thought there was a good opportunity to better use the pool facilities and looked into what underwater equipment was available. I found a supplier and put forward a proposal that saw us run a trial at AquaPulse in late 2018.”

Leckie gave up his time to assist people use the equipment and identified a rapid uptake in regular use and interest. After a successful trial period, he developed a business case to establish a permanent aqua exercise program at AquaPulse. This is the basis of AquaFit.

The water based environment reduces body weight by 90% (when standing shoulder deep), thereby decreasing impact on the body. The warm water is a relaxant, allowing individuals to move with greater mobility and less pain. Participants gain the general benefits of exercise without suffering from the compressive impact associated with the gravity of dry land exercise.

Leckie added “there are many ways we can make use of the equipment and create new opportunities for health and wellness members to use our aquatic spaces.

“There are many options once we start exploring the advantages of combining traditional exercise techniques with water-based equipment.”

It is planned that members of the WynActive health and fitness team trained in rehabilitation will become ‘floating supervisors’ while participants are using the equipment.

Click here to contact SplashFit via their Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory entry.

Images: (Top, from left) AquaPulse General Manager, Barry Harrison; Western Leisure Services, Chair Kay Rundle; Wyndham City Mayor, Josh Gilligan and Western Leisure Services Chief Executive, Alison Dixon at the launch of AquaFit; AquaPulse Facilities Coordinator Peter Leckie with the Cross Trainer (middle) and the SplashFit underwater walker (below).

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30th October 2018 - FloatFit aquatic fitness classes get Australian launch

7th March 2018 - Melbourne Aqua Forum addresses key aquatic fitness issues

26th February 2018 - Western Leisure Services introduce innovative healthy eating menus

19th February 2018 - Ipswich Hospital Foundation achieves Guinness World Record for world’s largest aqua fitness class

29th January 2018 - State Swim Director explains success of Adelaide-based aquatic fitness programs

19th January 2018 - Aquafit Manager Kristen Green to receive IHRSA Woman Leader Award

11th October 2017 - YMCA to innovate in aquatic fitness

12th July 2017 - New SFSpin aquatic fitness program launched at Speedo Fitness Club Bondi Beach

30th November 2016 - BOGA FitMat offers floating fitness options

5th February 2016 - Acquapole presents a new challenge in aqua fitness

27th August 2015 - New management for Wyndham’s Encore Events Centre

7th June 2015 - Wyndham city set to open AquaPulse and the Encore Events Centre

6th March 2015 - Councillors divided over $2.9 million Western Leisure Services start up costs

16th October 2014 - Wyndham’s Western Leisure Services makes key appointments and looks to recruit

10th October 2012 - Redevelopment underway at Wyndham Leisure and Events Centre

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