2020 was a challenging year for the leisure industry but many venues saw the mandated restrictions as an opportunity to renovate, clean, review and improve processes to ensure a safe return to COVID-normal.
In the most recent Aquatic Facility Safety Assessment undertaken at the end of 2020, Belgravia Leisure’s aquatic centres in New South Wales saw their compliance scores increase by 3.42 percent to a staggering 96.25% across all sites. Overall scores also increased from 88.14 percent in 2018/2019 and 90.33 percent in 2019/20 to 92.88 percent in 2020/21.
To achieve this result, Belgravia’s aquatic centres developed a coordinated approach to their safety audits in early 2020 by creating working groups to share learnings, documents and experiences. This working group transitioned smoothly to communicating virtually via Teams during lockdown. This allowed the team to better prepare their centres before the audits were conducted.
New South Wales Area Manager Scott Vanderheyden credits venue managers for taking ownership of the safety processes of their centres. “New South Wales venue managers worked closely together and helped each other to develop corrective action plans. This allowed them to be better prepared for the audits well before they happened,” he said.
Scott also took on a broader leadership role within the assessment planning to assist venues outside his remit to provide an improved focus on safety, compliance and aquatic supervision. “While COVID was at the front of everyone else’s focus at individual centres, Belgravia’s focus around aquatic supervision, risk management and compliance has only strengthened year on year.”
The most recent National Drowning Report issued by Royal Lifesaving stated that 248 people lost their lives to drowning between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, highlighting the fact that water safety should be a focus for all aquatic facilities.
For more information about Royal Lifesaving Australia’s Drowning Reports visit this link.