Consistency is Key

When it comes to running a good quality Aquatics program, one thing is clear – consistency is important for success! There are many parts of the program that will benefit from this consistency – there are just a few discussed in this article.

STAFF

Clients form an attachment or bond with the staff that they come into contact with each lesson. Not only do they feel comfortable with their ‘regular’ staff member but they feel a comfort and familiarity in seeing that person each week. Many parents surveyed at swim centres cited a change of staff as one of the reasons for their unhappiness at swimming lessons.

The staff in question can range from administration/office staff and deck supervisors to swimming instructors. Keeping staff consistent on a weekly basis will ensure that swimmers names and abilities are known and progress is tracked. Changing staff each week can be a hindrance to swimmers development as teachers may not be aware of their skills and miss out on pushing them to their full potential.

PROGRAM

If all instructors are teaching the same curriculum or program, this will help all swimmers at your centre progress. If a swimmer needs to change times due to other commitments, or participates in multiple lessons per week, the consistency of these lessons should remain the same. Swimmers will easily understand the instructions of all teachers and not become confused at drills/skills taught within each lesson if the program remains consistent.

In keeping the teaching curriculum the same, it is important to note that the teacher’s personality should not be stifled – they should be allowed to flourish in their lessons and give swimmers excellent learning opportunities within while teaching appropriate skills and drills for the program.

ATTENDANCE

Swim schools should insist on partnering with parents and swimmers in attending lessons regularly. If a commitment is made between the swim school and parent/swimmers to be consistent in their attendance, swimmers will have the chance to improve more rapidly than their peers who are inconsistent. WorldWideSwimSchool recommends 2 lessons per week for maximum benefit and skill acquisition.

As staff consistency is important (as discussed above), so too is attending the same lesson every week. WorldWideSwimSchool does not recommend make up lessons for all of the same reasons discussed in the STAFF section of this article. Routine can be an important part of the learning process and this can be affected if lesson times and days are continually changing.

There are many other times and places that require consistency for swimming lessons. Please share in the comments any that you can think of.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Jane Lawrence

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Drills: Why do we use them?

Parents often ask swimming instructors about the progress of their children and what they are learning in swimming lessons. A common question we hear on the pool deck is:

Why do swimmers do so many drills instead of swimming laps?

The answer is simple. Swimming is not a simple skill to learn. It requires much repetition to master a skill correctly, and there are many skills combined to master a swimming stroke proficiently.

If swimmers try to put it all together without mastering individual skills they will end up with poor technique and less efficiency when they are trying to swim. Swimming is hard work and an inefficient stroke makes it harder still. I know I want my students to LOVE swimming and if it is too hard it won’t be enjoyable for them. Teaching correct technique will make swimming easy and fun!

Let’s take a quick look at the basic breakdown of freestyle and how much is involved to give you a better understanding of why drills are so important in the learn to swim process.

 

Body Position

Swimmers should be in a streamlined position (horizontally) on top of the water. This position is best for movement. A good floating body position should be mastered before attempting other skills.

 

Kicking action

This important propulsive skill assists swimmers to move fast through the water. Straight legs and relaxed feet that feel water pressure on the sole and the top of the foot while kicking up and down is the most effective technique. Swimmers require lots of practice to perfect this skill and may require physical manipulation to iron out any kinks or “bicycling” action that is commonly seen in early swimming development.

 

Arm movements

This propulsive skill also assists with movement in the water. It requires long strokes and a good feel of the water.

 

Side breathing

This skill allows swimmers to maintain a streamline position when breathing. It creates less resistance for swimmers when taking a breath and allows for continual forward movement.

 

Combination of skills

Swimming proficient freestyle requires combining all the skills mentioned above. If swimmers struggle with any of those individual skills, they will struggle with performing the full freestyle stroke. Therefore, doing drills to master individual skills is important.

 


Picture: This young swimmer performs a freestyle drill combining arm, leg, and breathing skills. Notice length of stroke and low breathing.

 

Keep in mind that swimming has completely different patterns of movement to land sports and walking or running in general. It takes time to build neurological pathways to the brain to create muscle memory. In addition to having to perform unfamiliar skills, it must be done while holding your breath, submerged in water. Talk about tough! Starting with simple skills or drills, gradually building on them and following teaching progressions will give you a better result, a lifelong skill and hopefully a love for swimming.

 

What are some of your favourite freestyle drills? Share in the comments section below.

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Kate Lawrence

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The Benefits of a Deck Supervisor at your swim school

What’s all this talk about deck supervisors? Do we really need one? That’s just going to cost us extra money that’s not in the budget. This may be the typical response of a CEO or Swim School Manager when asked about introducing or employing a Pool Deck Supervisor. Today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the benefits, of which there are many of having a pool deck supervisor at your swim school and how it may just compliment your program and service.

Pool Deck supervisors can

•   offer assistance to teachers
•   offer an opportunity for parents to ask questions
•   provide teacher feedback
•   ensure quality control and provide student assessments

Times have changed and therefore as teachers, we must go along with it. Gone are the days where we can just put kids out of class if they have been misbehaving or having a tantrum. Parenting styles have changed and developed. As teachers, we need to be aware and respectful of that and this is where our pool deck supervisors can act as a support for our swim teachers. Teachers can make the deck supervisor aware of a particular situation in their class and request their support by having them observe the class/student and liaising with parents/guardians. It may also be something as simple as offering teachers a bottle of water to keep them hydrated during their shift, particularly if they are out in the sun.

How often can teachers get stuck talking and conversing with that one parent, it’s generally always that same one too. They don’t seem to have any awareness that there are other parents who have paid for a 30minute lesson with the teacher too and he/she is eating into their time. This is where the supervisor can step in and carry on that conversation and answer any questions that parents may have. Nine times out of ten it’s the same question; “is my child nearly ready to go up to the next level?” This may result in the deck supervisor catching up with the teacher later to get information on the progress of the swimmer or may lead to the deck supervisor observing the child during their next class or assessing them individually during their regular lesson time.

Depending on how you operate your swim school, you may offer student assessments to determine what level to place new students in. This is another job that can be carried out by your deck supervisor at the start or the end of their shifts. If you have more than one deck supervisor, we strongly recommend that they meet regularly and work together as a team to maintain consistency and ensure they are on the same page with the program knowledge and expectations.

Good teachers always do a good job however great teachers are constantly looking for ways to improve, even if they have been doing it for twenty odd years. They are always seeking feedback and asking for ways on how they can perform or do things better. Deck Supervisors can help with this by having a general teacher feedback form that they can use whilst observing the teacher. This also provides an opportunity to check out the overall quality control within the lessons. Are teachers positive throughout their lessons, are they engaging with their swimmers, are they giving positive praise? These are only three of many questions that can be asked to ensure quality control at your swim school.

World Wide Swim School recommends and supports the use of Pool Deck Supervisors if it is economically viable and your swim school is large enough. If that’s not the case, it can be as simple as having the office manager or centre manager work their multi-tasking skills to ensure all the above areas are covered.

Does your swim school employ a pool deck supervisor(s)? Why not share any other tips and positive experiences you have had with your deck supervisors in the comments below.

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Jane Lawrence

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Intensive Swimming Promotes Success

If you are operating your own swim school, you will understand how much thought and planning goes into programming and running a successful learn to swim program.   Making sure you are providing your customers with a great, effective service is top priority.  Parents or caregivers are paying good money for you to teach their children to swim and you want to make sure you deliver the goods.

One of the best ways to ensure you deliver is to stress the importance of commitment and consistency when learning to swim.  Ask your customers to think about what they did when their child was learning to walk.  Did they help them once or twice per week for 30 minutes?  I bet the answer is, “No, I helped my child every day (more than once) until they could walk.”

The reality with swimming lessons is that most children will only attend one (maybe two) 30 minute lessons per week when they are learning to swim and parents wonder why it can sometimes be a slow process.  Work it out.  If your centre is closed for 4 weeks out of 52 in the year, and your swimmers attend EVERY lesson without missing that is 24 hours of swimming per year.  That’s one day out of 365 each year.  That’s nothing! That doesn’t consider public holidays, student illnesses, taking the winter months off or that they might want to attend a birthday party instead of their lesson one week.  When you look at it like that, is it any wonder learning to swim can take some time?

Knowing this, and knowing how much practise is required to learn to swim and be good at it, it is important to offer programs and advice that will help boost your success when teaching children swimming and water safety. Try incorporating the following ideas into your swim school program to assist with success rates and speeding up the learn to swim process for your clients.

  1. Encourage customers to attend at least two swimming lessons per week. The more opportunities children are given to practise the faster they will learn.  If time, clashing activities or money is an issue, suggest that parents get in the water to play and explore with their children as often as they can or when they have spare time.  Encourage them to swim in home pools, visit friends or neighbours who have a pool for a splash around or head down to your local council pool to give young learners the opportunity to practise.

 

  1. Encourage winter swimming lessons. Not everyone has the commitment and motivation to swim year-round.  Often as the weather starts to cool down numbers will drop and customers will say, “see you in summer!”  However, winter can be the best time to attend swimming lessons.  Class sizes are often smaller giving children more individual time with instructors.  There are also fewer opportunities to practice outside of lessons in winter as home pools may not be heated to the toasty temperatures of a learn to swim pool.  Communicate the benefits of winter swimming to your customers and the importance of consistent swimming to maintain and improve on the current swimming and water safety skills their children have achieved.  It can be disheartening to start from square one when summer rolls around, but this is a real prospect if swimmers take a break over the winter months.

 

  1. Offer intensive swimming programs. School holidays are the perfect opportunity to offer intensive programs to fast track improvement.  Swimmers can attend lessons every day for a week or two to boost their progress. Swimming every day for a week is the equivalent of a months’ worth of lessons if a child is used to swimming once per week.  You may not have to wait for school holidays to run intensive swimming programs.  If you have available staff and pool space, why not run intensive programs in conjunction with regular lessons?  This could be a great add on for swimmers in your program who are struggling and may need a boost to advance them to the next level.

 

Have you found other effective ways to fast track improvement for swimmers in your programs?  Please share in the comments below.

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Kate Lawrence

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Using Reward Systems at your swim School

This article discusses the benefits of using rewards and incentives to help swimmers progress and achieve better results in various aspects of swimming lessons.

We all like to be rewarded or thanked for achieving goals and jobs in life, be it in our personal life at home after cooking the dinner or at work having completed a major project. Kids love it even more. Directors, CEO’s and Managers are always looking at ways on how to increase lesson numbers at their swim schools but more importantly, how to retain the clients that they already have.

There are many ways of offering rewards and many benefits associated with it too. It could be as simple as offering an ink stamp to a child at the end of their lesson for doing a great job to gaining a certificate of progression for a child to move up a level within the swim school program. These little gestures, can do so much for a child’s confidence and parents pride. By providing ongoing/collectable rewards, you are giving the child a chance to show and display their best work continuously. They generally try harder, listen and behave better. It’s an all round win.

A) The parent is happy

B) The teacher is achieving great results

C) Swimmers are happy

D) The swim school benefits by retaining another client

 

Often cost comes into play when deciding what type of rewards system to use – perhaps you are a small swim school with limited resources, low numbers or a minimal budget. Having visited many swim schools throughout the years, I have learned of various systems used throughout.  One smaller swim school I visited explained how the manager witnessed a few of the children bring their little bits and bobs to lessons every so often. Upon asking the children where they got their knick-knacks she realised that there was an extremely cheap/free way of gaining some incentive rewards for the children in her swim school. The centre had great staff morale and the manager had requested for the teachers to collect the free children’s collectables after every shop at the local Woolworths. As this was one of the limited grocery stores located close to the swim school, the small family community didn’t have much choice on where to shop. So the teachers brought the collectables to work and distributed them to the children upon completing a successful lesson. Needless to say, it was a major success.

For larger swim schools that have the resources and income to spend on reward systems it may be worth having a look at getting specialised stationary printed. These could range from stickers, achievement charts, progression certificates, drill/skill certificates, balloons, swim gear and much, much more.

Parents love to see their children do well outside of the home environment. How often do we see updates and pictures on our social media pages with the caption “Proud Parent Moment” followed by something that goes along the lines of ‘Cooper got awarded student of the week at school’. Parents thrive on it and want to show the world and boast about it to all their friends. Basically, it’s their way of saying my child is better than yours. Think of how happy they would be to learn of a new rewards system at your swim school. Think of how they would boast to their friends about how their child got a new achievement chart at their swimming lessons with lots of various goals to achieve. It may persuade the mum who takes their child to lessons at the swim school down the road to come give your centre a try. You may just offer something that others don’t.

Give it a go and don’t forget to share your ideas or methods of rewards systems at your swim school.

How do you keep your clients returning?  Please share in the comments below.

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Tara Martin

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Water safety in swimming lessons

Developing water safety skills and providing water safety education should underpin all formal learn to swim programs. Many water safety components will be taught during the development of foundation swimming skills as we work towards teaching the competitive strokes. For example, floating is the basis of all strokes and is essential to develop good technique but it is also extremely important for self-preservation and survival swimming. Therefore, great swimming programs will not only develop good technique in their swimmers but also teach water safety skills and help to develop safe behaviours and attitudes around the water.

 

Creating opportunities to educate parents will also be extremely important for swimming teachers and swim schools. This education is vital and easy to achieve during parent and child classes. Here, instructors are in direct contact with the caregiver but as children move into classes without the parents it becomes a little bit more challenging to maintain this direct communication. At this stage, the swim school’s signage around the pool, newsletters, emails, social media updates and contact with deck supervisors and administration staff becomes key.

 

What are we trying to achieve with swimming lessons? 

  • Parent education
  • Encourage safe attitudes and behaviours around water
  • Develop water safety skills
  • Develop quality swimming strokes
  • Teach children their capabilities and boundaries
  • Identify and respond to an emergency situation
  • Reduce the risk of drowning

 

Hazards facing children

There are many potential water hazards for children and these dangers may change as children grow and are exposed to a variety of different environments. Some potential hazards include:

  • Backyard swimming pools
  • Public pools
  • Lakes, rivers and dams
  • Beaches and coastal waterways
  • Aquatic recreation like fishing and boating

 

While swimming lessons provide a very controlled environment we can still use this time to help instil safe attitudes and behaviours in children.

 

Swimming lesson scenarios

Swimming lessons will give children confidence in the water and expose them to water safety skills such as safe entries and exits, floating and treading water. During classes, we can also create awareness of potential water dangers in a variety of different environments by using games and scenarios that excite their imagination. These activities are great as a warm up or final activity during weekly swimming lessons and are also prefect to incorporate during special water safety weeks or events at your swim school.

Remember to teach children the following concepts:

  • Read signage
  • Swim between the flags
  • Stick with a buddy
  • Signal for help (Internationally recognised signal is one arm raised/waving above the head)
  • Send for help / call emergency services

 

Water safety skills 

Is it safe to enter the water? Educate parents and their children to check for, and read signage before entering any water environment. These signs may read things like:

  • No swimming
  • No lifeguard on duty
  • Swimming not recommended at this time
  • Submerged rocks
  • No diving
  • Tropical marine stingers
  • Crocodiles inhabit these waters

 

Once they decide if it’s safe to swim, they then need to understand how to enter and exit the water safely. Learning to check the depth of the water will be very important. During the swimming lesson, it’s very easy to practice the following skills:

  • Different ways to enter the water
  • Returning to the pools edge
  • Monkey around the side of the pool
  • Climbing out of the pool

Encourage parents to translate these skills into any new aquatic environment they encounter with their children.

 

Floating is the basis of all learn to swim but also vital for survival swimming. Floating skills are great to practice during the warm up for progressive teaching and following a building block approach. However, these floating skills are perfect to revisit when children get fatigued during the class. This is also a perfect activity to achieve maximum practice time as the entire group floats and relaxes together. Learning to feel the water is also an important component for efficiency and speed in swimming. Therefore, simple sculling activities where children learn to sweep their hands outward and inward becomes important for stroke development. Once again sculling is important for survival swimming because this motion will create an uplift force which will support floating skills during survival swimming.

 

Once children become comfortable we can introduce deep water activities. Learning to monkey around the side of the pool, edge or rail should be easy to achieve. Remember some children may be nervous with this activity so provide plenty of encouragement and support. Learning to bob underwater and push off the bottom of the pool will be the next step. Again, this is a great warm up activity to establish good breath control and breathing rhythm. You can then progressively move towards floating and treading water before returning to safety at the side of the pool.

 

Underwater skills like removing clothing and untying knots could be extremely useful particularly in communities where boating is a way of life. Swimming teachers should consider the age of children and their swimming ability to determine when these activities are appropriate to include into lessons. Basic underwater skills like picking up rings from the bottom of the pool and swimming through hoops will be the prerequisite skills. Again, these activities are great to do during the warm up or final activity of the swimming lesson or during designated water safety weeks at the swim school.

 

Sidestroke and survival backstroke are used for recreation, recovery, rescue and survival swimming. These strokes require very little output in comparison to competitive strokes. Many foundation skills for these strokes will be taught during the teaching of freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. Things like floating, sculling, scissor kick, underwater pull and natural rhythmic breathing will all be introduced during the learn to swim phase for swimmers. Therefore, once children move into stroke development groups these survival strokes will be instinctively and easily mastered. Giving a good visual demonstration of the survival strokes will be the easiest way to teach these concepts. During swimming training, you can use these survival strokes for recovery after sprint sets. You can see that water safety skills can be easily paired with formal swimming teaching to prepare children for safe experiences around water.

 

Self-preservation is vital 

It’s extremely important that children learn the importance of self-preservation. It’s very easy to get into difficulty while trying to help a mate. For this reason, we should instil the following values in our swimmers:

  • Send for help
  • Use Reach or Throw rescues first
  • If you must approach someone in trouble, approach with a buoyant aid
  • Always approach a person in difficulty with extreme caution and adopt a defensive position

 

Kids Alive – do the five! 

There are many community service messages presented to families to remind them of water safety and help prevent drowning. The Kids Alive do the five message is a well-recognised program and has a lot of free resources for swim schools to use to educate families who attend swimming lesson. The Kids Alive message has a catchy song and poem that encourages parents to,

  1. Fence the pool
  2. Shut the gate
  3. Teach your kids to swim -it’s great
  4. Supervise – watch your mate
  5. And learn how to resuscitate

 

The Kids Alive website www.kidsalive.com.au has free animations, music videos, and interactive books which can be downloaded. Swim schools can also hire the Kids Alive mascots to use within their centre or to visit local community groups to help promote water safety messages in a fun and engaging way.

 

Other water safety groups including Surf Life Saving and Royal Lifesaving can also provide other support materials to swim schools wishing to further educate families that attend their centre. Remember water safety is the responsibility of all adults caring for children. As swimming and water safety professionals it’s our role and responsibly to regularly engage with parents to remind them of the potential dangers and give them ideas on how to enjoy safe and happy aquatic recreation with their family. Great swimming programs will not only develop good technique in their swimmers but also teach water safety skills so that their students can go on to display safe behaviours and attitudes around the water. As a swimming teacher, it is a wonderful gift to teach children a love for and respect of the water.

 

How do you keep your clients returning?  Please share in the comments below.

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Emma Lawrence

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Keep Clients Returning to Your Program

WorldWideSwimSchool starts lessons for Infants at 4 months of age.  We promote conditioning in the bath at home in the lead up to the first lesson in the pool.   Parents and swimmers may choose to start lessons at any time and should be welcomed into the program and given information and support to start their learning journey with the swim school.

 

How Do We Keep Clients Returning?

We want to make the Parent and Child’s first lessons at a swim school a positive and rewarding experience.  It’s in this initial stage of any program that parents will make the decision on whether or not swimming at your centre will be a priority and something they enjoy enough to continue with throughout the infants many stages of growth and development.  By providing information, support and a rewarding experience for clients it will ensure the growth of your business as people will not only return year after year but also recommend your centre to their friends and family.

 

Why Swim At Your Centre? 

Can you explain to your clients why they should be participating in lessons at your centre?  Why they should continue lessons after participating in a term, block, 6 months or years worth of swimming?  Some of these suggestions may help you in conveying this type of information to your families:

  • Communication of Swimming skills and why they are practised
  • Discussion of Growth and Development stages – physical, cognitive, social
  • Great bonding time for parent and child
  • A life skill that can be learned and practised from birth until adult
  • Continuous emphasis on water safety
  • Skill building program only teaches swimmers what is relevant for their age/capability – there is a lot to cover
  • Program moves at the ability of the swimmer
  • Lesson provided without friction or force

 

There are so many reasons that swimming is an important part of any child/parent’s learning.  Ensure that centre staff and management can convey these reasons to clients to keep them participating in lessons to make the decision to continue lessons an easy one.

 

Important Factors in Programming for Keeping Clients Interested

How do we create an exciting program that will keep clients returning for as long as possible?  There are so many answers to this question – here are just a few suggestions

  • Friendly and pleasant office staff able to answer any questions asked
  • Well trained and empathetic teachers with a good rapport with clients
  • A skill building program that doesn’t teach everything in one
  • An easy to use and understand rewards system that excites swimmers
  • Constant communication with parents about the importance of lessons
  • Fun and exciting lessons that entice the swimmer to return

 

The possibilities are endless!  Swim schools that truly believe that swimming is a skill for life and understand how important constant swimming is will have the ability to communicate this with parents and swimmers and keep clients interested in their program for as long as possible.

 

How do you keep your clients returning?  Please share in the comments below.

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Emma Lawrence

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Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Getting the most from your swim teaching team

Any swim school operator knows they can’t run a business without a team of dedicated, professional instructors to help keep classes running smoothly and to keep swimmers and their families wanting to return week after week, month after month, year after year for generations to come.

I’m lucky to be part of a family owned and operated swim school and can proudly say there are some instructors on our teaching staff who taught me as a child and they are still around to this day (some 30 plus years later). That’s incredible, and I feel lucky to have such a loyal and experienced team by my side.  The Laurie Lawrence Swim School wouldn’t be in its 50th year of operation without the many dedicated instructors who have donned their togs (bathers, suits, swimmers) year-round, rain hail or shine to help us provide swimming and water safety lessons to generations of families in our local community.

We are lucky in the swimming industry because most instructors are passionate about what they do.  They are proud to be providing a lifelong skill to the swimmers who attend their classes – it’s rewarding, they believe in teaching young children about water safety, and quite simply they love to teach.

While most instructors LOVE their jobs, there are some who may need a little more guidance to get to that point and that is where management comes in.  It’s unlikely instructors will last long in the water if they feel undervalued or unsupported.  As a swim school operator, you have the chance to change that.  The chance to shape the future of your teaching team and help guide them to become the best they can be.  Hopefully along the way, a little bit of the love you feel for teaching swimming will rub off on them and they will want to remain part of your swim school for years to come.

Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your swimming instructors:

  1. Lead by example

Treat your staff as though they are part of a team.   The old acronym couldn’t be more true -Together Everyone Achieves More! Yes, you may have different roles within the organisation but make sure you are working alongside them to reach company goals.  Don’t expect instructors to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself or haven’t done in the past.  Be at the pool when you can and be involved in program you provide.

  1. Provide training and support

It is important to provide instructors with appropriate training for their job description.  If staff members continually put in a position where they are unsure of what is expected of them or given tasks they have not been trained to do, it will make their job stressful and unhappy.  We provide feedback for our instructors each swimming block or term throughout the year.  This gives us an opportunity to identify areas where instructors need work and we can tailor our in-house professional development training sessions to suit the needs of the team.  It can also identify where instructors are excelling and you can give them recognition for a job well done.

  1. Value their work

Everyone loves to feel appreciated.  Make sure your team knows how much you value the work that they do. This can be done through bonuses, movie vouchers or other thoughtful gifts that can be presented at staff training, meetings or personally as you see fit.  While a gift can be nice, never underestimate the power of words.  If you notice someone has done a great job, immediately.  Say, “thank you for your efforts you are doing an amazing job!”

At Laurie Lawrence Swim School, we truly appreciate all our instructors because without them we wouldn’t be able to provide as many lessons to children and connect with as many families in our local community as we currently do.  We are proud of their passion, commitment and efforts in the water and on the pool deck to help us share a love of swimming and water safety.  We really have an amazing team behind us and can’t say thank you enough. So, one that note… in case they don’t read this, there’s a few thank you emails that need to be sent!

How do you get the most out of your teaching team?  Please share in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence

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Workplace Health & Safety

Swimming centres should be a safe and healthy place for both clients that participate in swimming lessons, patrons who attend for public swims and the staff that work in and around the pool every day.

All swim centres should be committed to ensuring a safe & healthy workplace for staff and others who are affected by workplace activities.  This can be done by eliminating or minimising the risk of injury to people and the risk of damage to plant and equipment.

Swim centres should achieve this by following relevant legislation and adopting a strategy of:

  • Identifying hazards in the workplace
  • Assessing risks to workers and others
  • Deciding on control measures
  • Implementing those controls
  • Monitoring that the controls are effective

Does your centre provide:

  • A safe work environment
  • A safe systems of work for our workers
  • Suitable and safe equipment
  • Information, instruction, training & supervision to ensure staff are safe

Does your centre ensure that:

  • Equipment is maintained
  • Chemicals are used safely
  • Managers and supervisors take reasonable precautions and exercise proper diligence to comply with safety obligations

If owners, managers and staff work together to minimise risks and danger in the workplace if will only be on very rare occasions that an incident should occur.  Risk management should be an every day priority to ensure safety of everyone at the centre.

If an incident should occur it is important that the people involved fill out an appropriate form (please see below links).  All incidents should be recorded and filed so as to access any information at a later date for review, insurance or investigative purposes.  Remember to fill out forms legibly and with as much detail as possible to make it easy to understand for anyone who will be reading the form in the future.

Workplace Hazard Report

Register of Injury

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

 

Laurie Lawrence

 

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Swim School Sanitation

It goes without saying that safety in and around water is of utmost importance however many swim schools fail to remember that poor water quality can be just as hazardous to your health.

The main asset within a swim school ‘is’ the water therefore facility managers should have a thorough understanding of how to achieve and maintain healthy water to protect both staff and patrons alike. Sadly, not all swim schools comply with health standards and in a lot of cases just don’t have the adequate equipment to maintain those standards, especially those that have a high volume of bathers.

Water Chemistry Basics – Chloramines

We all know that chemicals (most commonly Chlorine) are added to the water to protect our health however when bather loads increase, Chlorine by-products are the unfortunate side effect. People are a major source of pollutants (Ammonia from sweat and urine) which react with Chlorine to form chemicals known as Chloramines which are directly responsible for the distinct Chlorine odour as well as eye, nose, throat and lung irritations.

Chloramines can evaporate and are released into the air when water is sprayed or splashed. Staff and swimmers who experience long term exposure may develop allergic sensitivities and will react to even low levels of Chloramines which may force them to avoid the water altogether. Showers prior to swimming are encouraged to help lower the amount of Ammonia entering the water and minimise Chloramine build up risk.

Not only is regular maintenance and water balancing important to avoid health issues, adequate ventilation is also critical in maintaining clean air and a healthy swimming environment.

What else is swimming with you?

In addition to Chloramines, the following ‘unintentional release’ material is typically swimming with you in a public pool:

  • 0.14 grams of faecal matter per bather;
  • 6 million skin cells per bather after 15 minutes;
  • 30mls of urine per bather;
  • 1 litre of sweat per bather, per hour; and
  • Products such as sunscreen and body lotions/moisturisers.

When you add the urine that ‘is’ intentionally released you can certainly see how hard your sanitation system has to work to maintain water quality.

Secondary Sanitation

Chlorine as a primary disinfectant does a good job however it’s not a powerful oxidiser. In addition, Cryptosporidium and Giardia have become immune to Chlorine at standard dose rates forcing facilities to look for secondary sanitation options to protect their swimmers.

Ozone or UV?

Both Ozone and UV technologies have a great history within the aquatic industry and are heavily used across Europe. Both technologies break down bacteria and virus in different ways (depending on dose rates) and provide insurance against Cryptosporidium outbreaks however the effectiveness of both can be limited if the basics of primary disinfection aren’t taken care of i.e. – turnover, filtration, accurate dosing to maintain adequate pH and Free Available Chlorine levels.

Ozone (O3)

Ozone is a powerful oxidiser that:

  • Will effectively destroy Cryptosporidium, bacteria and virus;
  • Is a natural flocculant;
  • Oxidises Chloramines;
  • Works 3500 times faster than Chlorine;
  • Works in cloudy water; and
  • Leaves only Oxygen as a residual following oxidation of contaminants.

UV

It is important to understand that UV is an in-activator, not an oxidiser:

  • UV will inactivate Cryptosporidium, bacteria and virus;
  • UV will break down Chloramines;
  • UV will inactivate micro-organisms;
  • UV systems only treat water that is passed through a UV reactor; and
  • UV systems are not effective in cloudy water as cloudy water will absorb UV light.

Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP)

Why choose one when you can combine the two?

Brauer Industries award winning Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) systems (combining both Ozone and UV) have been helping Australian swim schools achieve pristine water quality. When combining Ozone and UV the end result is Hydroxyl Free Radicals, one of the most reactive agents known to chemistry. These reactive species can virtually oxidise any compound found in water, maximising disinfection whilst killing all types of bacteria, fungi, virus and Chlorine resistant parasites such as Cryptosporidium. More importantly, these AOP systems will dramatically lower combined Chlorine levels to keep your water within health regulations.

AOP systems are suitable for:

  • Learn to swim pools;
  • Aquatic centres;
  • Water parks;
  • Hydrotherapy pools; and
  • Resort and Hotel pools.

The benefits of an AOP system are:

  • Effectively destroys Chloramines;
  • Kills Cryptosporidium and Giardia;
  • Reduces Chlorine demand;
  • Enhances water clarity;
  • Ensures bather comfort;
  • Improves air quality;
  • Reduction of total Chlorine; and
  • Energy efficient.

If you would like to know more contact the experts at Brauer Industries today on 1300 696 631.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

 

Laurie Lawrence

 

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