Learning to swim on the island was never an easy task. As a child you had the option of paid private lessons at the Anchor Belle, or school sports in an outdoor pool that ran for a maximum of 3 months in a year. Being from Cowes Primary School, I was one of the few lucky ones who actually had access to that pool. However, I was never what you would call a strong swimmer. Capable, yes, but not strong.
When I enlisted in the Defence Forces, where your main focus is to remain fit for duty, it was imperative that I improved upon my base level of survival swimming prowess. So I jumped back into the pool. Faced with the lack of aquatic facilities provided in our local area, I was forced to regularly drive the huge (and time consuming) distances to Wonthaggi, to gain access to a pool with, at best, only one to two lanes available. That is, if they weren’t using those lanes for their own community swimming lessons, competitive swimming or senior Aqua classes.
Upon incurring an injury I received treatment from various health professionals. All of them came to the same conclusion - for potential rehabilitation whilst avoiding surgery, low impact exercise and localised stretching were required, both primarily achieved through water-based activities. Being in my mid-20’s and coming from a highly active background, I would not have considered regularly attending “Aqua Movers”, but that was the light activity that I was permitted to do, together with my lap swimming program. Again, I am required to travel to gain access to such facilities and again experience minimal lane availability and severely limited time frames to utilise the services. Every visit is a battle between exacerbating my injury by sitting in the car for too long and exercising enough to make the trip worthwhile. But I don’t have a choice.
As an aquatic centre advocate, I see it as my responsibility to support the fundraising goal we've spent decades trying to achieve. No matter how that task is approached, it really begins and ends with local support. Reaching the $2 million goal will give our kids a better chance of surviving in our (sometimes dangerous) waters by allowing them to learn to swim competently on their own turf. The Centre will also assist every single age-group of our community to maintain active and good health. All we need to get this project up and running is a show of strong community backing via your financial support!
If you would like to help us build this Aquatic Centre by donating to our funds, you can do that in one of the following ways:
For Tax Deductibility
For non Tax Deductibility
NAB Cowes BSB 083593, Account No. 560653544. (Make sure you notate your name).
Unfortunately we CAN’T give you tax deductibility.
To find out more please visit our website at www.piac.org.au