Grey Medallion Programs a Hit with Participants and Councils Alike

Royal Life Saving Society Australia’s innovative Grey Medallion aquatic and health promotion program, targeting the over 55 demographic, recently received glowing evaluation reports from participants and councils alike for its Hume City Council program.

The 3-year partnership between LSV and Hume City Council saw 190 participants learn vital water safety and lifesaving skills, including resuscitation, as well as aquatic exercise skills.

The research and participant feedback showed the program improved participants’ awareness of the impact of ageing on their water safety, for example the effect of medications and medical conditions, as well as the need for safe care and supervision of children around water, important for grandparents taking children to the beach and pools over summer.

Yarra Leisure recently undertook its first Grey Medallion program, with fourteen participants presented with their awards by City of Yarra mayor Cr Amanda Stone.

Andrew Williams, 55, a Yarra Leisure Grey Medallion participant travelled in once a week from Geelong to Richmond to participate in the program.

“I was a late starter when it comes to swimming, and I have witnessed many adults at the pool and on the coast who can’t swim,” says Andrew. “The skills learned in the Grey Medallion program are vital for any adult and particularly those with little ones.”

Seventy-year-old Kevin Moran, another Yarra Leisure Grey Medallion participant agrees, saying that gaining the confidence to deal with emergency situations was a valuable outcome of the course, particularly as a grandparent.

“I feel much more confident that I’d be able to assist in some way in an emergency – I’m no longer ignorant to what needs to be done,” says Kevin. “Most of the group had experienced some situation where the lifesaving skills we learnt would be required.”

It was a timely reminder for seniors, given the recent release of the Victorian Drowning Report 2017, again highlighting the need to address the growing drowning statistics among older Victorians.

As well as the Hume City Council and Yarra City Council programs, seven other Grey Medallion programs were conducted in 2017 across Victoria, with participants receiving important water safety lessons, as well as benefitting from social inclusion and improvements in general health and wellbeing.

In the future, it’s aimed a broader section of the community will be able to benefit from the Grey Medallion programs to come.

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