Free maternity swim program helps mums-to-be stay healthy

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Staying healthy during pregnancy and building water confidence with newborns have become a whole lot easier with the launch of an aquatic initiative at The University of Queensland.

The UQ Sport Aquatic Centre Bubble Club gives expectant mothers free pool access up to three times a week for 14 months.

The Bubble Club also encourages a maternal support network through a Facebook group to help women connect and socialise during and after pregnancy.

UQ Sport Aquatic Centre Venue Manager Mr Jae Marr said the maternity-based community swimming group was proving popular.

“Swimming is one of the safest ways to exercise while pregnant, and is shown to improve physical fitness, as well as enhance psychological well-being,” he said.

“The Bubble Club not only allows mums to keep fit, but also encourages women to unwind and enjoy some ‘me time’ in a safe, fun and comfortable environment.”

UQ Sport’s Bubble Club members have access to free learn-to-swim classes for babies aged 4-6-months, with water and safety skills taught through games, singing and water toys.

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“Getting children comfortable and familiar in water from an early age is vitally important,” Mr Marr said.

“Worldwide, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under five, so teaching a child to swim is an important step to addressing this issue.”

The launch of the Bubble Club coincides with UQ Sport’s Water Safety Week (14-20 March) – a quarterly event held in partnership with Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), to teach children and adults the importance of water safety.

Throughout Water Safety Week, all UQ Sport’s learn-to-swim classes, including adult lessons, will incorporate activities designed to develop crucial survival skills, such as safe water entries and fully-clothed swimming.

SLSQ Community Awareness Coordinator Ms Sarah Hesse said the organisation was proud to support UQ Sport’s ongoing water safety efforts.

“As a proud partner of UQ, it’s great to see the University looking to educate the public on swimming practices,” she said.

“As the peak coastal and aquatic safety authority, SLSQ supports any efforts to educate people on water safety, and we congratulate UQ on this initiative.”

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Part of the largest multi-sport complex in Queensland, the UQ Sport Aquatic Centre in St Lucia offers an Olympic-sized heated pool and a smaller learn-to-swim pool for children. A 25m pool will be added this year.

UQ Sport Ltd is an independent, not-for-profit organisation delivering exceptional sporting, recreational and learning experiences for the UQ Community across more than 75 sports and activities.

For further details on the Bubble Club and Learn-to-Swim programs, visit the UQ Sport website.

(Source: The University of Queensland)

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Date Created: March 21, 2016