News

WIRAC's pool rules under fire

The Southern Downs Regional Council has defended its rules over "coaching" at WIRAC.
The Southern Downs Regional Council has defended its rules over "coaching" at WIRAC.

WIRAC has confirmed it is investigating one of its swimming coaches after receiving a complaint from a Warwick resident claiming she was verbally abused while swimming at the pool with her daughter.

The woman, who did not wish to be identified, told the Daily News the incident occurred on September 13, and she is yet to receive an apology from the council.

The Warwick mum said she was at the pool swimming with her daughter and some of her daughter's friends.

When she entered the complex she was questioned about the size of her group and asked if she was coaching the girls.

She explained she was just there to swim some laps.

"During my swim I was rudely interrupted by the swimming coach, who did not ask any questions," she said.

"They accused me of coaching (the girls). Her manner was intimidating, loud and inappropriate.

"She said that I was coaching and that she was going to put in a complaint about me."

The woman said the coach "demanded" the mum hire a lane, get insurance and coaching certificates.

"My response was, I was not coaching, I was swimming in the public lanes with the girls and in fact the girls took it in turns to tell me what to do," she said.

The woman alleged the coach came across as aggressive and the girls were upset over the incident.

"The coach tried to further intimidate me by stating the video footage would be checked to determine if coaching was taking place," she said.

"I was not worried by this as I have nothing to hide."

A council spokeswoman confirmed there was a camera system at WIRAC, but it was faulty and was awaiting repair.

The spokeswoman verified several matters regarding squad swimming and general coaching at WIRAC were being discussed by the council.

"Earlier this week a council manager and an official from the Warwick Swimming Club met to discuss a number of these matters," she said.

"A complaint against WIRAC staff is part of these discussions and this matter is currently under review."

She said WIRAC did have strict rules about coaching.

The council spokeswomen said a parent was allowed to provide coaching to his/her own children, but not outside their immediate family.

"Coaching is defined as teaching, training or mentoring," she said.

"If a person coaches a swimmer other than their own children, they are required to hold coaching qualifications, public liability insurance cover and pay a lane hire fee."

A mother of one of the children in the lane said there was a difference between training and coaching.

"Our children were training on that day," she said.

"How is that any different to one of the footballers using the gym facilities to train with a bunch of their mates?"

Topics:  southern downs regional council swimming



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