Elizabeth’s Aquadome, the Gawler Aquatic Centre and an aqua fitness educator have been recognised for making an outstanding contribution to the recreation sector in South Australia.
The trio were recognised by Recreation SA at a special event in April, as part of the 2017 SA Recreation, Parks and Leisure Conference.
Each year the awards celebrate the achievements of committed professionals and forward-thinking organisations who dedicate considerable time and effort to improving the recreation sector in South Australia.
Recreation SA is an independent, member-based organisation with a vision to increase the participation and profile of active recreation in South Australia. It is the peak body for the Aquatics, Outdoor, Community and Fitness sectors in SA.
Recreation SA executive officer Nick Takos said the three winners demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovation and a strong commitment to increasing participation in active recreation in SA.
Mr Takos said the Aquadome, operated and managed by the YMCA, claimed the 2017 Recreation SA Award for its innovative and inclusive Swimming Lessons Program.
He said the program assisted both children and adults to learn water survival skills in a fun and safe environment, enabling students to be comfortable and competent around water.
"Judges were particularly impressed by the social inclusion aspect of the swimming lessons program," Mr Takos said.
"The level of importance placed on providing swimming instruction to the underprivileged and new arrivals to Australia should be commended, as unfortunately this demographic is over-represented in drowning deaths.
"The Aquadome is making swimming lessons more accessible to many families who would otherwise be unable to afford or have the ability to enrol in swimming lessons."
Kym A’Court, of the Parafield Gardens Swim School, was awarded the 2017 Recreation Industry Professional of the Year prize.
Mr Takos said Kym has been instrumental in progressing the aqua fitness industry in SA.
"Judges were impressed by the diverse range of programs she has initiated which promote increased recreation opportunities for a variety of demographics, from children to adults," he said.
"With a passion for developing people and identifying innovation, Kym works hard to make the SA Aquatic Industry more dynamic and professional," he said.
The Gawler Aquatic Centre was named the 2017 Watch Around Water Community Innovation winner, Mr Takos said.
Watch Around Water is a leading national education and public awareness raising program, managed by Recreation SA, that addresses the supervision of young children at public swimming pools. The program assists aquatic staff to promote safe supervision practices and ensures public swimming pools are a safe venue for the community to participate in sport and recreation. More than 60 public and private pools in SA are accredited Watch Around Water centres.
Mr Takos praised Gawler’s hard-work promoting the Watch Around Water safety message.
"Judges were impressed by Gawler Aquatic Centre’s innovation and creativity in delivering the safety program to improve community awareness.
"A successful social media campaign has helped to promote water safety principles to a wide audience, while additional signage targeting supervision of young people at the centre was viewed by more than 50,00 patrons throughout the year."
Mr Takos said it was vital for the recreation industry to every year recognise programs, organisations and the people working in the sector who were making a real difference to encouraging more people to be involved in active recreation.
The awards were open to all of Recreation SA’s 100 member organisations.