The Barker College Foundation Aquatic Centre was delighted to be recognised in the recent ASCTA – Best Swim School awards, for its ‘Excellence for Innovation’.

The award recognised the Centre’s innovative ‘Tech Free Week’ during March, where parents and caregivers were encouraged to actively engage with their child/ren’s lesson and to put their mobile phones and devices to one side during this time.

This initiative also coincided with the UN’s World Water Day, which focused on the importance of active supervision whilst children are in, on or around, the water.

Barker Foundation Aquatic Centre Director, Haydn Belshaw, said, “We believe this campaign was particularly relevant in light of the recent spate of drownings. Figures compiled by Royal Life Saving Australia showed that 86 people drowned last summer, compared to 55 the summer prior to that. In addition to this, Royal Life Saving also found that a lapse in adult supervision was the major risk factor in 100% of toddler drowning deaths.”

This innovative and forward thinking program involved an enormous team effort from all of the staff and coaches at the Barker Foundation Aquatic Centre and was fully supported by the Head of Barker College, Phillip Heath.

“We aim to make a difference, not only within the Barker community, but the surrounding local community as well,” Haydn said. “So initiatives such as Tech Free Week help to build meaningful customer engagement.”