As the Club consisted solely of volunteers, it was able to charge about a quarter of the normal cost for swimming lessons, making lessons as accessible as possible for kids in the community.
In 2020 classes were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this year the Club has made the inevitable decision to close after a huge community effort of more than 60 years of operation.
Club President Bob Howe OAM, who taught swimming at the Bush School for over 46 years, says he is sad the Club is closing and cites decreasing demand as a key reason for the closure. Annual enrolments once averaged over 300 however they have steadily decreased over the past 15 years to be less than half of this number in 2019 and this, along with other challenges, leaves the future of the Club unsustainable.
“It is a real pity, as we missed it a great deal last year, but it is timely. The Club was formed to meet a need in the community and it’s no longer required. We are exceedingly proud of the contribution we have made to this community. I wish to extend my thanks and praise to all our volunteers who have participated over the years. We know we have saved lives and there’s nothing more important than that,” says Bob.
The Club had 12 trainees in 2019 and currently has 21 long-term volunteers, including Club Secretary and Treasurer Carolyn Cross and Senior Instructor Helen Hanlon who’ve given 43 and 47 years to the Club respectively.