Milne Bay Aquatic and Fitness Centre – Teaching water safety beyond the pool


Toowoomba generally it’s I guess
traditionally a small country town that is growing into the metropolitan concept.
The water recreation and the water holes in this region is not necessarily about
our pools it’s more about our rivers creeks and dams. Our concerns were back in 2012, the National Drowning Report came out and there was a big spike in
inland waterways. December I think it was in 2012
unfortunately a family lost their five-year-old down at a dam not too far
from here down towards Laidley and at the time I guess there was a couple of us
that had children around that age The Just One campaign was originally two of
us. Myself and Marvin got together one day over a cup of coffee and really
thought about what we could do as a council facility and also the
community, how we could get a message out there The just one philosophy was all
about just doing one of these things first one was first aid, second one was
CPR, so if you get children and parents to learn first aid and CPR just one of
those may help save a life From the centre’s point of view for the region we
took the lead and then over a number of discussions and getting other people
involved it evolved into a program which we called the Downs Little Lifeguard.
It was then not only a message about water safety and some of the things that you
can do by the Just One program but it was more an active hands-on program that
involved the kids and the parents We looked at well what resources do we have;
we had a lot of people with a lot of knowledge, what funding do we have, not
alot. So we don’t just use standard aquatic equipment we use the sort of
things that people might find in their backyard or on a campsite they could
experience deep water, clear water, cold water water with obstacles in it, water
with current. The community action was great really given that we do have so
many rivers creeks and dams that people do go swimming and fishing in, they could
understand and appreciate where we were coming from This is not about some
form of commercial enterprise this is actually about doing something for our
kids that ultimately will give them an understanding of the water, the dangers
where it’s safe to swim and more importantly how they can look after
themselves when they’re in and around the water

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