Council and Rotary Step up for Disabled Swimmers

Tuesday 24 July 2012, 12:17PM

By Far North District Council



Disabled and elderly swimmers now have safer and easier access to the heated pool at ASB Recreation Centre in Kawakawa.

The Council’s Disabilities Action Group and Rotary Bay of Islands have replaced a ladder that swimmers used to get in and out of the 25-metre pool with a flight of stainless steel steps.

The steps allow swimmers to walk, rather than climb, into and out of the pool, making it more accessible to older and physically disabled people.

A pulley system fixed to a girder above the 6-lane pool allows the pool supervisor to remove the steps when the pool is needed for lane swimming or competitions.

Disabilities Action Group chairman David Senior says the group funded the steps and pulley, but the idea came from Rotary Bay of Islands who coordinated the project.

“We’re open to working with groups in the community.”

Rotary Bay of Islands president Bob Glen says Rotary is delighted to have been able to support a project outside the Paihia area.

“We asked the Kawakawa Hospital if they had any projects and they said we need steps at the pool for the elderly.”

Special Olympics Bay of Islands secretary and team manager Nicole Grimme says the steps are already proving popular with members of the club which offers a year-round programme of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

“Some club members who are physically disabled struggled to climb in and out of the pool when the only access was via a ladder,” she says.

The steps were made and installed by Haruru Falls engineering and fabrication company Fell Engineering.