Kurri Aquatics and Fitness Centre is encouraging locals to splash out at the YMCA Swimathon this Sunday.
The YMCA Swimathon is a national event that encourages people of any age and any ability to raise funds in a fun, social and simple way to provide access to swimming for people with disabilities.
“People with disabilities often require specially-qualified instructors or accessible facilities. But more often than not, there are not enough qualified swimming instructors, or the equipment available to easily access the water. Through the YMCA Swimathon we hope to change this,” centre manager Kate Grigor said.
The centre hopes to raise $2000 this year with the funds being to provide a term of free SwimAbility lessons to local schools with identified inclusion programs.
“We are lucky to have great qualified instructors and the necessary equipment, so we are looking forward this year to directing our funds to assist schools to provide the program to their students at no cost,” Kate said.
Cessnock Public School will be one of the local schools to benefit from these funds, which will allow 10 of their students to participate in a weekly lesson in block two.
“We are very excited that our support unit students will be able to benefit from the funds raised during Swimathon to continue in the SwimAbility program,” Cessnock Public School assistant principal Stephen Morgan said.
Last year the event raised $230,000 nationally across 55 YMCA-managed pools.
The Kurri staff want to encourage as many people in the local community to get involved.
“You don’t even have to swim to take part! You can walk up and down the pool for an hour if you like,” health and fitness coordinator Sean Walden said.
“If you’re up for a challenge, you can set yourself a goal and see how far you can swim between 11am and 12 noon. It’s always a fantastic day out for the whole family.”
Sean will hold an aqua aerobics class on Sunday for $5 per person, with all proceeds going towards the swimathon.
The centre will also host a family fun day from 10am to 4pm, with a barbecue, face painting and jumping castle, pool inflatable and many more activities. The hour-long swim will take place from 11am to midday.
To register or find out more, go to ymcaswimathon.org.au or ask in-centre.