Bayswater Waves team pass their goal in HBF Run For a Reason

31 May 2017

We’re so proud of the team from Bayswater Waves Aquatic Centre who took part in last weekend’s HBF Run For a Reason. The team of 14 joined the event to raise funds for the Watch Around Water program, which educates parents and carers about the importance of actively supervising their children when they visit a public aquatic facility.Team members holding their hands in a circle to show their Watch Around Water wrist bands

Each and every year hundreds of Australians lose their lives to drowning, and the tragedy is that many of these deaths could be avoided through proper education, supervision and respect for aquatic environments. While our public pools and beaches often employ lifeguards to be a safeguard in these high traffic swimming areas, no number of lifeguards can replace the close supervision of a parent or carer over young children in these environments.

The Watch Around Water program was established in Western Australia in 2004, following a spate of tragic drowning deaths involving young children at public swimming pools. The program is a partnership between LIWA Aquatics and Royal Life Saving Society WA, which educates parents and carers about their responsibility to supervise their children at public aquatic centres, and not simply see the lifeguards as babysitters. The program has made a significant impact, with no drowning deaths recorded at public aquatic centres in WA for over a decade!

Calen Linke who completed a half marathon at the HBF Run For a ReasonHowever, the program requires continued funding to ensure the safety of children at aquatic facilities into the future, especially with the added distraction of mobile phones which pose a new risk by taking adult’s attention away from the children in their care.

The Bayswater Waves Run For a Reason team consisted of staff from across the facility, including lifeguards, aquatic supervisors, customer service staff and the centre manager! All team members completed the 12km run, apart from Calen Linke (pictured) who did his first half marathon!

The team was organised by Verity Bignell who is passionate about the Watch Around Water program. “Drowning is such a big issue and I don’t think some parents are fully aware of the risk. Over the recent summer we saw a high number of drowning deaths, especially over on the east coast, in swimming pools – if those parents had visited our pools, seen the supervision requirements and been educated on how to safely supervise their children around the water they could use it at home and maybe we wouldn’t see so many drowning deaths at home pools.”

The team’s fundraising effort surpassed their goal of $1000, with $1191.15 raised to date, and further funds still to be tallied.

We’d like to thank all the team members, listed below, for their amazing effort, and we’re very excited to hear that they are keen to make this an annual fundraising event.

If your workplace, community group, or even your family would like to take part in fundraising for Royal Life Saving Society WA or any of our programs please contact our fundraising department at the link below.

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HBF Run For a Reason team members:

  • Verity Bignell - aquatic supervisor
  • Dan Barber - centre manager
  • Krisna Wardana - aquatic coordinator
  • Karen D' Cunha - customer service officer
  • Elaine Strickland - customer service officer
  • Calen Linke - lifeguard (half marathon)
  • Lily Zupins-Hodgson - lifeguard
  • Nina Zupins-Hodgson - lifeguard
  • Emma Tromp - lifeguard
  • Sarah Lithgow - lifeguard
  • Fraser Read - aquatic supervisor
  • Josh Friis - lifeguard
  • Dylan James - aquatic supervisor
  • Milica Jankovic - customer service officer