The Swinburne and Hawthorn Aquatic and Leisure Centre (HALC) partnership continues to go from strength to strength with more than 550 Swinburne students signed up as members.
Students have access to Swinburne-only group fitness classes as well as free use of the centre’s indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities.
In 2016 alone, the centre recorded 14,517 individual swims from Swinburne students and staff.
In 2017, the numbers continue to grow with a group of students without aquatic backgrounds taking advantage of HALC’s International Learn to Swim (ILTS) program.
The program provides Swinburne students with the opportunity to learn to swim free of charge through casual classes. They focus on water safety, survival skills and basic swimming skills.
Swinburne student teacher Praveen Kumar says the program breaks down language and cultural factors that may otherwise serve as a barrier to aquatic education.
“Once they’re confident enough, everyone enjoys being in the water,” says (Mr Kumar).
“It’s a pleasure to meet and help new friends from Swinburne learn swimming and rescue techniques and I thank Swinburne Student Life and HALC for initiating the program.”
Image: Swinburne student Praveen Kumar helps teach international students to swim
Swinburne Student Life Director Rod Thomson says the partnership is an important part of Swinburne’s health and wellness initiatives.
“There’s a positive link between a healthy lifestyle and learning. It is important that our students have an outlet outside of studying, and our partnership with HALC provides this.”
A major philosophy of the YMCA is to create healthy, happy communities, and Centre Manager Matt Holman says this is evident in the affiliation with Swinburne.
“There’s a real connection there, the students bring a youthful energy to the centre.
“It’s great seeing them around the centre and achieving their health and wellness goals.
“We hope to continue this partnership for some time to come, and we believe it’s only going to get stronger.”
The Hawthorn Aquatic and Leisure Centre is owned by the City of Boroondara and is managed by the YMCA.
Under a further similar agreement between Swinburne and HALC, university staff also receive gym membership discounts and free access to aquatic facilities.