Things are going ‘swimmingly’ for Sandgate Swimming Club, as it enters its 95th year. The club was thrilled to receive a grant for $35,000 from the Queensland Government’s Community Benefit Gambling Fund, in late January.
This money will go towards the construction of a fully-equipped canteen, and an upgrade of the member service’s building, at the club’s home at Sandgate State School Pool.
Club president, Lorraine Hockey, is excited about the new facilities and what this will mean for the club’s growing membership. “The canteen will provide new opportunities for catering, hosting competitive events and conducting the customer service aspects of our club, as we prepare for our centenary,” Lorraine said.
The club offers a range of swim programs, which were originally designed for school-age children. However, in recent seasons, Sandgate Swimming Club has also begun to focus on teaching swimming strokes to children of pre-prep to primary school age and beyond.
Lorraine explained that at primary age, children begin engaging in social aquatic activities away from home, including surfing, paddling, boating or visiting a water park or pool with friends. This is particularly true for Sandgate’s seaside community.
“If a child’s ability has not progressed beyond basic survival skills, then parents are faced with new safety and participation concerns,” Lorraine said.
In addition, Tuesday’s swimming club night plays a traditional and very important role in the club’s commitment to Sandgate district’s children. The club’s program directors identified that children, who attend club nights, progress more quickly than with lessons alone, because of their increased swimming confidence.
“Coming to swimming club provides children with an opportunity to apply the skills learnt in lessons in a very social, encouraging and supported racing environment,” Lorraine said.
“The entire club community comes together to participate in ability-graded events. Our senior members engage with our youngest swimmers, providing assistance as they take on their first club night experiences in 12.5m races.
Club Night participation is free for members, and dinner is available beforehand, which makes every Tuesday night something to look forward to.