Ipswich Water STAARS Shine

Ipswich Water STAARS Shine

Ipswich City Council has partnered with the Royal Life Saving Queensland's Water STAARS (Support to Access Recreational Spaces) Program, to encourage people with disabilities to develop their water skills.

"The classes were a mixture of water activities and fun lagoon deck games for those involved and there was great feedback from the seven participants in this first course," Ipswich City Council Chief Executive Officer Sonia Cooper said.

Our SEAL program identified there was a gap in our water education programs and this course has allowed a new group of Ipswich citizens to participate in a safe, supportive and educational environment with a focus on real life skills that many of us take for granted.

"Getting enquiries from the community while the event was being held just goes to show what a great environment the Royal Life Saving Queensland's qualified disability instructors provide. Everyone could see that everyone was being engaged and participating."

Royal Life Saving Society Queensland Senior Education Officer Beverley Newton praised council's involvement in the program.

"It was a great group over the four weeks and every participant came back each week and you can tell they were enjoying it as much as we do teaching. I hope to do this again with council, it is a really valuablepartnership," Ms Newton said.

"The program focuses on water safety, becoming more comfortable around water and giving people the confidence to participate in water activities with their friends and family."

The Water STAARS (Support To Access Aquatic Recreational Spaces) Program is designed to support people with disabilities to feel confident and empowered to acces the water safely. Participants engage in a range of exciting and educational activities with a focus on sun safety and signage, personal water safety and resuce techniques.

Council has already begunm the process for a new program later this year and Ms Cooper encouraged parents, guardians and carers with questions to reach out to council directlyto discuss any questions or requests regarding the Water STAARS Program.