This is a pilot of a new series of conversations, focused on Diversity and Inclusion in Aquatics. I will be reaching out to professionals from various fields of aquatics, as well as community leaders, from across New Zealand and around the world. The purpose is to share interesting discussions that reveal new perspectives and diversity of thinking related to this subject within the world of aquatics, that can also be applied beyond that realm.
In this conversation, I catch up with Colleen and Carien from Amanzi Swim Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
I met Carien and Colleen in 2015, during an international training session hosted by Starfish Aquatics Institute in the USA. The three of us, along with Ronald from De Smient Aquatic Centre in the Netherlands, spent three weeks travelling around the USA. We visited aquatic centres in Georgia, Texas and Illinois, learning from some of the most experienced professional lifeguards and swim teachers in the USA. And, just to add to an already cool trip, we were accompanied during the whole three weeks by Jill White, who is known as one of the leading professionals in aquatics around the world.
The four of us gelled well, sharing experience and supporting each other during the trip. We shared a common experience of being trained SCUBA instructors, a fact that I believe showed through when we worked together to complete lifeguarding scenarios. We shared many of our values and aspirations for using Aquatics, not only as entrepreneurs but also to support our community as a force for good.
During this conversation, I speak with the Amanzi crew about the swim centre that they designed from the very beginning to be an inclusive facility for everyone in their community. We discuss their operation and how they actively encourage an accepting and welcoming atmosphere. We also discuss some of their interesting projects that reach out to their greater community in South Africa.
In addition to examples of diversity and inclusion, our conversation reveals a story of entrepreneurship and social enterprise.
Such a pleasure to catch up with Amanzi Swim School for a chat about Diversity in Aquatics.
Don't miss checking out Amanzi's Blinding Lights challenge. The Global Swim Pro team is on the case, and will answer to the challenge!