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A Length Ahead of the Rest for Wairoa Swimming School

A length ahead of the rest for Wairoa Swimming School

The Wairoa Swimming School has achieved a double at the New Zealand AustSwim Awards, winning the Swim Centre of the Year title along with Kelly Doyle winning a best teacher award.

The accolades top off a fantastic year for the Sport Hawke’s Bay managed Wairoa Community Centre which is at an all-time high in visit numbers, members, learn to swim participants, pool visits, fitness centre and gymnasium visits.

Wairoa Learn to Swim manager Denice Gasson was thrilled repeating the AustSwim Swim Centre of the Year award win of 2015 and was rapt that Kelly, a volunteer, won best teacher of Aquatic Access and Inclusion. This award recognises excellence, commitment and innovation across the year. In 2015 the Centre also won the overall Centre of the Year award, competing against several Australian swim centres.

“The overall centre award is great recognition for a lot of hard work by the team and we are really happy for Kelly, who is such a fantastic teacher.”

“Kelly, or ‘Miss Kelly’ to her students is an amazing ‘Access and Inclusion’ instructor, that’s why her students have smiles on their faces during the lessons, learn life skills during the lesson and leave wanting to come back.”

The AustSwim Centre of the Year Award also recognises the excellence, commitment and innovation of an AustSwim Swim Centre.

Sport Hawke’s Bay Wairoa team, with three paid and three volunteer instructors, played a large role in the increase of learn to swim participants this year. Overall, the centre had 6,525 participants, up from 4,992 during the previous year. Additionally, school numbers increased with 9,111 total visits taking part in instructed lessons.

“The pool was close to full capacity most of the year, which this is an amazing result.”

All seven swimming instructors are qualified AustSwim instructors.

“Most of these swimming instructors volunteer and see it as a way of giving back to their community and keeping the cost of the swimming lessons to a minimum, making it affordable for all the Wairoa Community.”

The Centre Swim School started nine years ago with the instructors retraining from 2011 with the AustSwim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety course.

Denice says the Centre Swim School continues to grow steadily with children achieving through the levels at an increased rate at infant, preschool and college levels.

AustSwim Infant and Preschool sessions have increased due to the new learner pool and children are exceeding expectations already, with increased confidence.

The Centre Swim School is managed by Sport Hawke’s Bay and has a 25 metre pool and a new learner pool, which was completed in December 2015.

Sport Hawke’s Bay chief executive Mark Aspden said the success of the Wairoa team was down to their commitment to deliver quality lessons that improve the swimming ability and confidence of many in the community.

“The learner pool has been a huge success”.

Wairoa Community Centre success in numbers

Overall Visits 92,868

Members 950

Learn to Swim 6,525

Pool Visits 38,337

Fitness Centre Visits 27,943

Gymnasium Visits 18,011


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