Y NSW calls on NSW government to support survival of community sports, watersports and recreation sector

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The NSW YMCA (the NSW Y) urges the NSW government to demonstrate fair play and support the community sports, watersports and recreation sector, and informed the NSW Treasury of the negative economic impact of the lockdown prolonged industry and the devastating long-term cost to public health.

The nonprofit, which operates 22 leisure centers and swimming pools across New South Wales, said the sector had slipped through the cracks of 5’s most recent industry support program, $ 1 billion from the NSW government and was frustrated at being continually forgotten.

Representatives from Y NSW met with the NSW Treasury and officials from the Office of Sport last week and called on the NSW government to consider practical options, including:

  • A recovery plan to revive the community leisure, aquatic and leisure sector.
  • A grant-based fund to help industry operators reopen and / or increase attendance in cases where attendance has dropped by 30-100%.
  • Expansion of existing Active Kids and Dine and Discover voucher programs to encourage more children and adults to invest in health and wellness opportunities.
  • Recognition of swimming lessons as an essential service.

Y NSW CEO Susannah Le Bron warns that without support, staff shortages in the industry would continue to swell, the community would continue to disengage from fitness and wellness programs and apprenticeship programs swimming would suffer – putting young Australians at a higher risk of drowning in the summer.

Le Bron notes that “our organization, and many like us, exist to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of NSW and as a sector we have not yet received direct support like many other industries. Any general support from the proposed government for which we actually meet the criteria would unfortunately be insufficient to significantly alleviate the financial distress in which we find ourselves.

“Our revenue streams in the sports, water and recreation space have been frozen by the lockdown and we are seeing staff abandon the area due to its uncertainty, customers are canceling gym memberships and not registering their children for classes. of swimming.

“We are very supportive of any measures taken to protect the community from COVID-19 – we just want to make sure we are in good shape, let alone exist to continue serving the community when we reopen in the future.

Le Bron adds that “over 50% of the Y NSW recreational workforce is currently suspended and 15,630 memberships are suspended. The continued exodus of personnel from these lifeguards is compounding the existing shortage of qualified swimming instructors and lifeguards across New South Wales. In March of this year, Swim Australia estimated the NSW workforce to be 600 jobs below capacity, with the NSW Y alone currently recruiting for over 140 vacant and growing positions.

“Without support, community sport, gyms and swimming pools may not be able to open after this lockdown is over. With drowning deaths up 30% in the 2020/21 season, it’s clear that the impacts of the lockdown and reduced access to swimming lessons are literally wreaking havoc.

“Swimming lessons save lives and should be seen as an essential service in our water-loving country. Our industry has done its part to support the government’s efforts to fight COVID every step of the way. We’re key to motivating and enabling Australians to stay fit and connected – an incredibly powerful tool in tackling the mental health challenges of this pandemic. However, we ourselves must be able to play the vital role we need in recovery. The government must extend the support that other sectors have received to our struggling sector. This is an essential sector for a healthy Australian lifestyle.

Sectoral advantages:
Physical inactivity has significant economic consequences, including a cost of $ 3.7 billion to the health care system each year and a contribution to death and disability of $ 48 billion. Source: Barnsley P, Peden A, Scarr J. Economic benefits of Australian public aquatic facilities. Sydney, Australia: Royal Life Saving Society; 2017

Exercise has proven benefits for mental health. A survey of 14,400 Australians conducted for Fitness Australia last year indicated that for 83% of those surveyed, the key goal for going to the gym was to support and improve mental health. Source: Impact of Gym Closures on Consumers – Gym Essentials Needs Assessment Report, Fitness Australia, 2020

Image: The YMCA NSW (Y NSW) and Camden Council recently announced the Y’s reappointment as manager of the Mount Annan Leisure Center and Camden War Memorial Pool until at least 2023.

Related Articles

July 30, 2021 – Y NSW Renewed to Manage Camden Aquatic, Fitness and Recreation Facilities

July 5, 2021 – Y NSW Pledges to Connect With Community During Greater Sydney COVID Lockdown

April 27, 2021 – Y NSW Launches ‘Uplift’ Active Wellness Program at Hawkesbury Oasis

April 19, 2021 – Y NSW Celebrates Y Bankstown City’s 50th Anniversary

March 9, 2021 – Y NSW launches new active wellness program for Parramatta and Mount Annan youth

February 11, 2021 – New Y NSW Board Members Share Passion for Youth Empowerment

January 28, 2021 – Y NSW and Westfield Parramatta Collaborate to Launch Dedicated Pop-Up Youth Space

December 9, 2020 – Y NSW Collaborates With Sydney Kings To Grow Community Basketball

October 4, 2020 – Y NSW offers free training for HSC students

September 4, 2020 – Y NSW Launches First Youth Co-Designed Child Safety Models

June 18, 2020 – Response to survey of Y NSW customers to inform reopening of facilities

June 15, 2020 – The NSW Y informs that fitness classes have resumed at the Oasis Aquatic and Recreation Center

January 17, 2020 – The NSW Y begins operations at three gymnasiums at Western Sydney University

January 17, 2020 – The NSW Y offers firefighters and families free access to facilities

December 22, 2019 – Y NSW wins contract for Western Sydney University gymnasiums

November 11, 2020 – YMCA NSW supports nearly 200 HSC students with free access during exams

March 4, 2020 – YMCA NSW to Operate New Stromlo Recreation Center

November 19, 2019 – NSW YMCA Brings New Features to Oberon Pool Complex

September 13, 2019 – Oberon Council Partners With YMCA NSW to Provide Local Aquatic and Fitness Services

August 16, 2019 – NSW YMCA locations affected by ransomware attack

October 31, 2018 – YMCA NSW Youth Worker Honored For Improving Youth Health

September 21, 2018 – The NSW YMCA cleans up at the ACT Aquatic Industry Awards

September 10, 2018 – NSW YMCA Executive Honored for Courage

August 27, 2018 – YMCA NSW appoints new General Manager

Aug 10, 2018 – YMCA NSW Launches Staff and LGBTI Employee Advocacy Group

June 29, 2018 – YMCA NSW wins tender to manage Sydney Olympic Park Lodge

June 12, 2018 – YMCA NSW Executive Director Leisa Hart resigns

March 28, 2018 – YMCA NSW Introduces New Swim School Software

January 31, 2018 – NSW YMCA Urges Parents To Make The Most Of The NSW Government’s Active Kids Rebate

October 17, 2017 – YMCA NSW seeks to inspire a new generation of lifeguards

January 11, 2017 – YMCA NSW to Create Innovative Wellness Center for the Broken Hill Community

November 16, 2016 – YMCA NSW wins contract extensions to continue operations at two key Sydney locations

October 19, 2016 – YMCA NSW partners with Health Team Australia

September 23, 2016 – YMCA NSW offers free swimming lessons for children in September and October

July 5, 2016 – AUSTSWIM and YMCA NSW join forces on water safety

June 30, 2016 – YMCA NSW to End Management of Raymond Terrace Fitness and Recreation Center

June 1, 2016 – NSW YMCA CEO to attend Vinnes CEO Sleepout

April 28, 2016 – NSW YMCA Introduces Job Sharing in Communication Meetings

September 1, 2015 – YMCA NSW to operate Lakeside Leisure Center in Canberra


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