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We all know the benefits of water exercise; that beautiful feeling of weightlessness as you enter the warm pool and then the building of strength and balance from working against the push of water with ones legs and arms. However, to join a regular water aerobics class at your local pool when you have low or no vision can be more stressful than beneficial for so many reasons:
Often the centre relies on the individual getting to and from pool-side independently, the instructor relies on you seeing his exercise demonstrations as he stands on the edge of the pool, and all the sighted participants assume you will keep a safe distance in the water so that flailing arms and legs do not collide.
Understandably, there was a call from members of the blind community in Melbourne’s north, requesting a tailored water exercise class where centre staff would be trained in sighted guiding, the instructor would be more descriptive or tactile in his exercise demonstrations, and everyone would feel a greater sense of overall inclusion.
In response, BSRV has partnered with Broadmeadows Aquatic & Leisure Centre to provide weekly Aqua Fit Classes with the wonderfully enthusiastic instructor, Jeffrey.
Participant, Helen Delaney, says “We really like how he gets into the water and shows us what to do. And we really like how we started near the edge of the pool and over time as our confidence grows, he said we will move back away from the wall and walk around a bit more in the water. It was good how he wasn’t pushy, he said there’s no rush and we can all work at our own pace. Really good that he asked permission every time he wanted to touch us. He is a great trainer”.
BSRV would like to thank Sport & Recreation Victoria for their support in making this one-of-a-kind program a reality!
If you would like to join in on Mondays at 2:30pm, please contact Miriam on (03) 98228876 or email email@example.com