Connecting people with a disability to aquatics
Belgravia Leisure identified a dire regional need to provide swimming and water safety lessons to children and adults with a disability, and particularly people with an autism spectrum disorder, in the outer eastern Melbourne region. In less than a year from mid-2015, enrolments among people with a disability grew by 400 per cent (up to 65 participants) at Kilsyth Centenary Pool, and this has growth continued and now reaches over 165. This was achieved without government or grant subsidies and surpassing financial viability targets.
Comments from a parent:
“We have had private (swimming) lessons previously. The only reason we were doing that was because we got funding for it and we were being charged $40.00 per half hour, per lesson, per kid. Families can’t afford that sort of money, so basically once that funding ran out, we stopped the lessons!...Kilsyth (Centenary Pool) has been super accommodating. The price is amazing … and the staff are even better than the price!”
“The boys actually go in the pool at the school, once a week they have swimming lessons there… I had a good chat with the swimming instructor their and she was absolutely astounded in the difference in my boys in the last month…the elder one has always been like a monkey, he will not let go if there was a bar around the pool, he wouldn’t let go of the bar to venture into the water, even with staff assistance. The middle one, (the teacher said), his confidence has just skyrocketed, just a lot happier, a lot more relaxed in the water as well…, they love it here!”