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New Mutitjulu swimming season to focus on school, health and jobs

Posted: Tue, September 23, 2014

New Mutitjulu swimming season to focus on school, health and jobs

The Mutitjulu community will build on the great outcomes achieved in its first season when their self funded pool reopens for summer on the 26th of September.

Only children who have attended the full school day will be able to swim on weekdays.

“There are signs that this ‘Yes school – Yes pool’ policy contributed to increased school attendance during the last season. It will be in place again this season”, says CLC director David Ross.

Traditional owner and Mutitjulu pool committee member, Barbara Tjikatu, is proud of the health benefits the pool is creating, especially for people with disabilities.

Committee members made sure the pool has a hydraulic lift for older and disabled swimmers. Ms Tjikatu, who uses a wheelchair, says: “That’s a good thing. When it gets hot again I may have a swim.”

She says the pool has helped a young local girl with a physical disability. “Through swimming she’s got stronger, running around.”

In 2013 pool operators Casa Leisure were engaged by the CLC, with funding from the traditional owners of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, to run the pool for five seasons.

With strong support from the community based pool committee, the company ran a very successful first seven month swimming season that attracted over 6,500 pool visits.

Rob Heinjus, Casa Leisure’s General Manager, is looking forward to training local people to work at the pool alongside pool manager Freddie Couldwell.

“We are excited to, once again, be managing the day to day operations of the pool”, he says.

“To have someone on the ground like Freddie, who has the support of the local community, has been excellent.  Last season a number of locals supported him at the pool on a temporary basis and this year we would like to see someone within the community employed for the entire season.”

Mr Ross calls on governments to come on board and share the running costs of the pool with the traditional owners in the future so that they can plan other projects with their rent money.

“For seven years they planned the pool, saved up $1.5 million of their own money to operate it until 2017, oversaw a great first season and now they are working closely with Casa Leisure to employ locals at the pool.”

The new season will see the company and the pool committee work with the CLC to extend partnerships within the community. 

They plan events and youth services and extended opening times for parents with young children as well as the elderly.

 

Contacts:

Rob Heinjus 0418 898 669, robheinjus@casaleisure.com.au

Elke Wiesmann 08 8951 6373 or 0427 009 240, elke.wiesmann@clc.org.au.

Danielle Campbell 0447 003 259, danielle.campbell@clc.org.au

Images of the pool are available on request.

www.casaleisure.com.au                              www.clc.org.au