City wins Community Impact Award

15 July 2022

The Women’s Only Swimming Program at Stirling Leisure Centres – Leisurepark Balga has been awarded the Community Impact Award at the inaugural WA Aquatic Recreation Industry Awards (ARIA).

The awards are an initiative of the peak body Leisure Institute of Western Australia (Aquatics) and aim to recognise individuals and teams who show innovation and best practice in the aquatic recreation industry.

The Community Impact Award recognises programs focussed on access and inclusion that enhance the wellbeing of the local community to create a positive impact. The Women’s Only Swimming Program is an initiative created by the City of Stirling in collaboration with Royal Life Saving WA. It seeks to support women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to exercise and improve their swimming capabilities, enhance social cohesion as they engage with other women and increase their confidence in accessing City services at Leisurepark Balga. In Australia, swimming is an important safety skill and enables participation in common social and physical activities.

More than 75 per cent of participants of the program stated that their capabilities in the pool had improved drastically, as well as their overall physical health and mental wellbeing.

Mayor Mark Irwin said the City had been recognised for its facility-based aquatic recreation community programs which contributed positively to access and inclusion.

“Our Stirling Leisure Centres regularly win recognition for best-practice, and we are thrilled to receive this award which combines our commitments to high-quality recreational facilities with our commitments to support a multicultural community and improve access and inclusion,” he said.

“This program enhances the wellbeing of the local community and creates a positive impact, encouraging a diverse and multicultural community to a healthier lifestyle.

“This award highlights the increased community impact, and the support for community user groups and behavioural change the program encourages, which is very much aligned with our strategic planning to create a thriving community.”

The award was accepted on the City’s behalf by Operations Coordinator Duncan Hutton and Project Lead - Welcome Hubs Eva Mwakichako.

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