Towards the end of 2016 Belgravia Leisure rolled out a great initiative aimed at improving safety for vulnerable swimmers at public pools. The initiative was based around the implementation of a range of communication materials targeted at encouraging weak swimmers and non-swimmers to:
- Wear coloured wristband for easy identification,
- Attend the pool with a friend or family member,
- Tell the lifeguard about their swimming ability on arrival, and
- Stay in areas of shallow water.
After the campaign had been in place for a few months LSV undertook an initial evaluation of its success, with a second evaluation completed 12 months later.
With the findings of the campaign now known and the challenges, barriers, enablers and opportunities more fully understood, LSV have started the development of a program which will enable other Victorian aquatic facilities to benefit from the great work completed by the Belgravia Leisure team.
The Watch Around Water Advisory Committee (WAWAC) have agreed to guide and support the development and implementation of the program, which is hoped will be adopted by all facilities in the future.
With the current review of the supervision section of the GSPO currently underway the timing is great, as the new program can be designed to ensure consistency with the guidelines. This complimentary approach will ensure that clear and simple messages can be conveyed to the vulnerable users who the program is aimed at.
The next steps of the development will see a range of customer focus group sessions take place with high risk pool users, prior to the design of the communication resources which will convey the key safety messages.
LSV are seeking expressions of interest from facilities wishing to be involved in the focus group sessions. To register your interest please email [email protected]
Facilities are encouraged to monitor the Safer Pools newsletter for updates on the program.