Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Throughout history children have faced danger when in and arround water. Better parental supervision, clear warnings of specific dangers and in some cases swimming restrictions have all played a part in reducing the risk, but life saving education is without doubt the best precaution against disaster.


beginning in 2017 all schoolchildren in the Australian province of Victoria will be required to swim 50 meters straight and show in-pool survival skills beginning in 2017, according to the Herald Sun.

The Herald Sun had been pushing for these learn-to-swim programs in schools as a result of 43 drowning deaths in Victoria this year and a 40 percent rise in fatal drownings. Research from Life Saving Victoria found that three out of five students could not swim by the time they finished primary school.

The Herald Sun reports: Brodie Morris, 12, …almost drowned in the Murray River two years ago. “We nearly lost him,” said his dad, Brett. “It happened in a split second. We’re really lucky that someone pulled him up. He could have been another statistic. He’d been to swimming lessons before but he hadn’t picked anything up.”

After the 10-week program at Shepparton’s Aquamoves pool, Brodie, from Kyabram, was swimming a dozen laps with ease. Even waking up earlier for the 40-minute trip to the pool didn’t faze him. “We were amazed how he went. He was motivated, he was fantastic,” Mr Morris said.

Mr Taylor said the goal was to teach every Victorian child to swim at a satisfactory level within a decade.




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The River Torrens was home for the Gilberton Swimming Club until 1970 when it was banned from using the waterway

Adelaide Now reports:

A 100-year-old swimming club that started in the River Torrens is closing but only after sharing its $450,000 nest egg with the community. Gilberton Swimming Club will spread the money among the Walkerville, Klemzig, Vale Park and East Adelaide Primary schools. The $450,000 sum has grown from about $150,000 the state government paid the club when it was forced out of the Torrens swimming hole in 1970.

Gilberton Swimming Club on the banks of the River Torrens

A ban on swimming in the river displaced the club, which received the money for land it owned either side of the Torrens pool. The homeless club has since funded children’s swimming classes in local pools instead of building a replacement pool of its own. More…

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The Age – Victoria reports: Fancy a swim in the Yarra River?

Watercraft regulations make it illegal and water quality makes it questionable – especially after it rains – but a not-for-profit group wants to change that by building a floating swimming pool on the river’s edge that would cost at least $6 million.

The Yarra Swim Co has released a concept design for the pool it suggests could be built on the banks of the Yarra next to Enterprize Park, where Melbourne’s settlers moored their ship in 1835.


The concept was released on Thursday night as part of Australia’s Venice Biennale Exhibition, opening this week.

The group last year pushed to revive the historic Race to Princes Bridge, a swim competition that ran from the early 1900s to the 1960s, and again in the late 1980s.

It argues that waterway pools are a growing concept globally, with plans under way for New York and London. More…

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Australia’s Lake Parramatta Attracts 12,000


The Sun Parramatta Holroyd reports:  The first full summer season of swimming at Lake Parramatta attracted 12,000 visitors between October 31 and March 13, according to the Australian Lifeguard Service.

Swimming was re-introduced to the lake for the first time in more than 70 years last year as part of the Parramatta River Catchment Group’s ‘Our Living River’ campaign to return swimming to the river by 2025.

“Lake Parramatta has been a popular spot for swimming since January last year and I’m sure it will continue to be for many summers to come,” Parramatta lord mayor Paul Garrard said.

The water temperature throughout the season ranged from a comfortable 20 to 27°C, well within safe swimming guidelines.

Bacteria levels were good outside of the rain periods.

While lifeguards won’t return to the lake until October, it remains open for swimming all year round.

It’s recommended people don’t swim for three days after heavy rain due to water quality concerns.

Lake Parramatta, North Parramatta NSW 2151, Australia

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Swimming with the Belles of Penzance

ABC Australia reports: Swimming is great for fitness and muscle tone, but if you’re exercising with your waistline in mind, some might tell you to throw in the towel.

“If you want to lose weight, you’re better off walking around a pool than swimming in it,” according to Sydney exercise physiologist and personal trainer Andrew Cate.

“That’s obviously a bit extreme, but it does make the point. From a fat-loss perspective, swimming has some real negatives compared to other forms of exercise.”

University of Western Australia academic and researcher Kay Cox agrees there are some potential pitfalls in swimming to whittle your waistline, but she’s shown it can definitely be done.

She led a 2010 study of inactive older healthy women who took up a swimming program and compared them to those who took up a walking program.

The study, published in the journal Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental, showed that after a year on the program, the swimmers had lost more weight and more off their waistlines than those on the walking program. More…

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The Australian Daily Telegraph reports: Cabarita Beach and Chiswick Baths safe for …swimmers this summer.

A… multi-council initiative to clean up the industrial toxins that have blighted the river for decades is paying dividends with locals already taking the plunge.

For the first time in many years, the water has been deemed clean and safe for swimmers. …and the return of swimming in Cabarita Beach was a sign of things to come.

“We have returned swimming to Lake Parramatta and it has been a tremendous success,” Cr Garrard said.

“Over time we hope we can achieve clean water throughout the river, servicing the recreational needs of the inner west and western Sydney.”

Cabarita Park was first designated as a recreation area in the 1880s – and people today continue to take advantage of the picturesque park and the clean, safe swimming conditions.

“It’s much nicer to swim in the natural river than in an artificial pool. It means that residents don’t have to travel long distances to the ocean, especially on hot days,” Cr Tyrrell said.

“People who are keen to swim at any time don’t have to drive to the beach on a hot day, or get a bus from Drummoyne to Coogee Beach.

“It’s much nicer to walk down the end of your road to Cabarita, which will also benefit residents in Breakfast Point and Chiswick.”

NSW Environment and Heritage’s Beachwatch program, which regularly monitors harbour swimming sites, has given the City of Canada Bay spots the tick of approval.

Swimming in the river is becoming a reality again, only one year into the Our Living River initiative, which aims to make it completely swimmable by 2025.

Canada Bay mayor Angelo Tsirekas said it was great to see the locations were safe for swimming.

“Continuing to focus on this project and improving the Parramatta River to ensure it will be swimmable will be of great benefit to all communities along the river,” Cr Tsirekas said.

“After decades of neglect, we are now bringing our river and surrounding creeks back to their former glory,” Cr Laxale said.

“This will have tangible social and economic benefits to the two million residents who surround the area.”

Cabarita Beach recently opened for the first time in 72 years.Read more on this story…

Discover why we are dragging our heals when it comes to wild swimming in the UK

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Blacktown Council Chatter Campaign to Revive River

The Blacktown Sun Reports from Australia:

An estimated 500 people made a splash at a recent beach party held at International Peace Park in Seven Hills to celebrate the end of summer.

Activities included beach volleyball, a waterslide, giant water balls, face painting, nature walks and a free sausage sizzle.

The aim of the day was to raise awareness about the Our Living River campaign, which focuses on improving the health of Parramatta River to make it swimmable by 2025.

The campaign was developed by Blacktown Council in partnership with Parramatta River Catchment Group.

Once a very popular swimming spot, the Parramatta River has experienced a significant deterioration over many decades and become unsafe for swimming due to high pollution levels.

The beach party gave residents a chance to provide feedback on how they would like to see Parramatta River brought back to life.

Residents voted for their favorite swimming spots with the most popular within a 20-minute drive — Lake Parramatta, Little Coogee (Parramatta Park) and Centennial Baths (Parramatta CBD).

In my home city of Leicester the water is clean enough for swimming but attitudes are as yet still set against river swimming in the City…

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