Grey Medallion graduates head back to the pool

12 June 2019
participants in the Grey Medallion requalification programNine water-loving seniors headed to the pool at HBF Arena recently to complete their Grey Medallion requalification course. The ladies were part of a group that participated in last year’s pilot Grey Medallion program at the Arena. 

The Grey Medallion program is a water safety and lifesaving skills initiative for older adults. It encourages a healthy, independent and active lifestyle through the development of essential skills for safe participation in aquatic activities. The program teaches personal survival techniques, improved swimming skills, skills to deal with emergency situations and a thorough understanding and knowledge of water safety issues. 

Australians aged 55 and over unfortunately account for a large proportion of drowning statistics, and with an ageing population this may continue to rise. Open water environments such as rivers and streams are of concern to this life stage, with the diversity of activities they participate in making drowning prevention challenging. Initiatives such as the Grey Medallion aim to reduce the likelihood of older adults drowning while recreating in, on or around the water.

Research has also shown that not enough older Australians are reaching sufficient levels of physical activity to maintain good health. Aquatic activity is one of the best things this age group can do to stay active, with water relieving pressure on the joints. It’s also a great social activity to get them out of the house and meeting people.

nine senior women practising survival skills in a poolRoyal Life Saving WA Aquatic Trainer Isabel Franzoni, who led the original 6-week program last year, once again instructed the class as they brushed up on their water safety and survival skills. Impressively, a few of the ladies were even able to upgrade their skills to achieve other awards. One participant completed her Bronze Star and three were able to achieve their Bronze Medallion awards – not an easy feat at any age, let alone as a senior!

Congratulations to the lovely ladies who completed their requalification and achieved some amazing personal goals along the way. We’d love to see more senior participants following their lead and learning to enjoy the water safely. 

You can learn more about the Grey Medallion program at the link below – or have a chat with your local aquatic centre!
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