Off to a swimming start

Twelve seniors have completed the Royal Life Saving Grey Medallion program at the Warringah Aquatic Centre and are now in a better position to help if someone finds themselves in difficulty in water.

Participants attended the course for two hours a week for four weeks and covered a variety of lifesaving skills including CPR, survival strokes and rescue techniques.

Group Manager of the Aquatic Centre Gary Penfold said the Grey Medallion program was designed to include anyone over 55.

“You don’t need to be a great swimmer to participate: we take complete beginners to the more advanced swimmer.

“The program teaches participants what to do when faced with an emergency and how to avoid putting themselves or anyone else in danger – and it is a great opportunity to exercise and have fun!”

Warringah Mayor Michael Regan said the program was particularly valuable for the growing number of grandparents caring for grandchildren.

“It often means trips to the beach, dam, lagoon and swimming pool with young children, so learning techniques that may save a life or prevent an accident from occurring makes a lot of sense.”

The Grey Medallion program also recognises the vital role that physical activity plays in improving the health and wellbeing of older Australians.

“Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of heart attack, improve blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure and help prevent falls, and for people over 55, low impact activity such as aquatic exercise is ideal,” Mr Penfold said.