60 people over 60 years = lifesaving triumph

A total of 60 Hume residents aged over 60 are set to graduate with a Grey Medallion certificate, after they conquered a course designed to make them confident around water.

The mature aged participants have undergone six weeks of swimming and emergency training at Hume’s leisure centres, as part of a Grey Medallion program coordinated by Life Saving Victoria and delivered by Council staff.

The residents took part in the course for free, after Hume City Council funded the aquatic sessions through its 2015 Community Grants scheme.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said he would personally present many of the graduates with their Grey Medallion certificates.

“These mature aged residents have done something which is much more than just a bit of fun at the local leisure centre,” Cr Atmaca said.

“Each participant has attained aquatic skills that could save their own life, as well as the lives of others.

“More and more of our residents remain active in their senior years, and many people over 60 spend time around water.

“While it’s terrific that our mature aged citizens lead independent and vibrant lives, we want them to know what to do if they enter a waterway.

“Australia is surrounded by oceans and we’re lucky that so many creeks and rivers meander through our state.

“It’s really important that our residents enjoy their time around water and take part in aquatic activities safely.”

In 2013-14, a total of 14 people aged over 60 drowned in Victoria, and the figure represented a 49 per cent increase on the previous year.

Cr Atmaca said the Grey Medallion course taught participants a number of vital skills.

“The residents who will graduate have learned what to do in an emergency and how to resuscitate a person who cannot breath,” he said.

“They have also practiced ways that they can survive when in danger, and been afforded the chance to learn or hone their swimming skills.

“The course provided our residents with great information about water safety, and the value of this advice cannot be underestimated.

“The six weeks that participants spent in the Grey Medallion classes could be some of the most important six weeks of their lives.”

The course took place in June and July 2015, and graduation ceremonies have occurred or will occur at the following times:

• 2.00pm, Friday 10 July 2015 at Broadmeadows Leisure Centre
• 10.30am, Friday 17 July 2015 at Craigieburn Leisure Centre
• 1.30pm, Monday 20 July 2015 at Sunbury Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Cr Atmaca encouraged anyone interested in water safety to sign-up for a swimming class.

“Hume’s leisure centres offer a range of aquatic classes and people don’t need to have any prior experience in the water,” he said.

“We offer a friendly and welcoming environment, and the aquatic activities are a terrific way to improve your health.”

Further information is here.

Updated : 9:46 AM, 14 July 2015

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