Belgravia Leisure’s Mt Albert Aquatic Centre team was awarded the New Zealand Recreation Association’s Innovation Award last week at the Just Add Water conference.
Belgravia Leisure won the award for its partnership with the Aqua Artist Chinese Swimming program, designed for adults and children in the Mt Albert and surrounding region.
Belgravia Leisure New Zealand General Manager, Mark Blake, said his New Zealand team is passionate about working closely with local communities to deliver targeted programs that remove barriers to an active and healthy lifestyle.
“In partnership with Zoe Zhang and her team at Aqua Artist Chinese Swim School, Belgravia Leisure has ensured that swimming and water safety classes have been developed to meet the unique cultural needs and expectations of the Chinese community,” he said.
The program has evolved to longer lessons with less play, and since starting in early 2016, now has over 230 students per week.
The Aqua Artist Chinese Swimming lessons have opened up the wonderful world of swimming to a community that would normally not have participated in aquatic activities,” Mr Blake said.
The program forms approximately 20 per cent of Mt Albert Aquatic Centre’s total swimming and water safety program, and will be used as a model to roll out across other Belgravia Leisure aquatic sites in New Zealand.
“A significant number of children from the Aqua Artist Chinese Swimming program have transitioned to the Mt Albert Aquatic Centre’s swim squads, a program that further develops participants for a competitive swimming environment,” Mr Blake said.
More information can be found at mountalbertaquatics.co.nz.
(Pictured L to R): Judy Tipping, Business and Administration Manager, and Mark Blake, GM Belgravia Leisure NZ