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A swimming gold has been awarded by the Murray Halberg Trust to Huia Pool in Lower Hutt for encouraging and supporting access by people with disabilities.
Facility Manager, Tina McFarlane, says the team guards are young and have a very positive attitude to helping the more than 35 swimmers with disabilities who access the Huia Pool every week.
“We see how much benefit they gain from swimming and the positive impact it has on their lives,” she says.
Only seven gold Halberg Awards for sport access have been awarded across New Zealand. Huia Pool is the second to receive the award in the North Island with Upper Hutt receiving the award last year.
Halberg Disability Support Advocate, Andy Roache, who presented the award, said a very high bar was set in terms of access to qualify for gold.
“There are many pools around the silver standard but Huia, through its “no exception” action plan, was determined to be the best it could be.
“They did the work and made changes that improved access and showed through their attitude and actions they welcomed swimmers with disabilities – and that is their key strength,” he says.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says the Huia Pool team has done an amazing job and showed through enthusiasm and commitment to high standards what can be done.
“Many hours of concerted effort and rigorous self-assessment was required to be considered for this award – and they achieved it with flying colours,” he says.
Recreation Facilities Manager, Stephen Keatley, says Naenae and Stokes Valley pools will now be considered for achieving further gold awards.
Chief Executive, Tony Stallinger, congratulated the Huia Pool team
“Our organisation sets out to deliver a high quality service and Huia is an example of delivering that service,” he says.
Lower Hutt’s Huia Pool has been awarded a prestigious Gold Award by the Murray Halberg Trust for Sport Access and pictured with the award are from left, Aquatics Team Leader, Jessie Ranui, Senior Lifeguard, Sam McHugh, Facility Manager Tina McFarlane, Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace, and Halberg Trust Disability Support Advocate, Andy Roache, from Tauranga, who presented the award.