The Y NSW has won a national award for its commitment to inclusive swimming at Camden’s Mount Annan Leisure Centre (MALC).
MALC took out the Australian Swim School Association (ASSA) National Award of Excellence for Inclusion, announced virtually during the ASSA 2021 Conference on Thursday, August 26.
The Y NSW is a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) service provider and since October 2020, enrolments of students with disabilities have grown by 300% at MALC. Y NSW CEO Susannah Le Bron said it was wonderful to see the team’s unwavering commitment to accessibility acknowledged on the national stage.
“At the Y celebrating diversity is part of our DNA. The past 12 months at MALC have been about ensuring that this commitment to inclusion is front and centre across our swim programs.”
“Since becoming an NDIS provider, we are so proud to have exponentially increased our impact of our programs at MALC and Camden War Memorial Pool, teaching up to 50 neuro-diverse infants, children, teens and adults to swim. We have witnessed profound benefits to these students and their families and our instructors have also enjoyed the benefits of increased education and awareness.
“I am so proud of the Mount Annan team, led by Centre Manager Ryan O’Loughlin and Aquatics Coordinator Ned Anson, for always keeping Inclusion on the agenda and ensuring that the benefits, joy and lifesaving skill of swimming is accessible to all.”
In addition to expanding the NDIS offering, MALC also ran a campaign during 2020 to reduce stigma surrounding teens and adults learning to swim. The “Never Too Late” campaign targeted migrant populations in the Camden locality with limited water safety and swimming skills, as well as teens who may have missed out or lapsed in their swimming education. The initiative led to a growth in teen enrolments from 36 to 66 and a five-fold increase in the number of adults learning to swim at the centre over a six-month period.
The award is the first ASSA trophy on the Y NSW’s shelf and is uplifting news for centre staff currently unable to offer swimming lessons due to the statewide COVID-19 lockdown.
Mount Annan Leisure Centre and Camden War Memorial Pool are proudly managed by the Y NSW on behalf of Camden Council. To find out more about Aquatics at MALC, visit: https://www.ymcansw.org.au/centres/mount-annan-leisure-centre/programs/aquatics/