Joondalup: pool lets Seastarz expand its horizons

Seastarz owner Louise Schmidt with instructors Michelle Kealley and Annette Rampant and students Bailey Clarke (six months), Lucas (5), Jordan (7) and Joshua D'Aurizio (9) and Tilly Schmidt (9).  Picture: Martin Kennealey d468972
Seastarz owner Louise Schmidt with instructors Michelle Kealley and Annette Rampant and students Bailey Clarke (six months), Lucas (5), Jordan (7) and Joshua D'Aurizio (9) and Tilly Schmidt (9). Picture: Martin Kennealey d468972

MOBILE swim school Seastarz opened its own pool in Joondalup last month.

Owner Louise Schmidt said the school had been limited to operating in the summer months when the weather was warm and in homes that had pools.

“We wanted to extend the business from being seasonal, so we managed to secure planning permission from the City of Joondalup to run a home business six days a week,” she said.

“Now we have added a heated indoor pool to our home in Joondalup.

“We wanted something small and personal that also allowed us to keep the small class sizes we love.

“We noticed with our mobile work that a lot of the children we work with are on the autism spectrum or have other learning needs that prevent them from learning in a loud, busy and crowded swim school.

“So at Seastarz Joondalup, we keep noise and distraction to a minimum, only having a maximum of two teachers in the water at any one time and lessons are tailored to individual family needs.”

Ms Schmidt said the expansion would enable them to operate all year and would give staff permanent employment.

The school offers a Ducks program for children aged four months to four years and then children can progress through the stages.

“We are also introducing a new water familiarisation and sensory class for parents and babies aged two to four months,” Ms Schmidt said.

“This will teach parents how to hold their baby in the water and how to make the most of bath and shower time to ensure they have a happy, confident water baby ready to begin the Ducks program.

“We also hope to do a CPR and resuscitation session for these new parents and the aim is to catch them early with the water safety message.”

The pool operates from 8am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.

 

Seastarz awarded for community service

JOONDALUP-based swim school Seastarz was awarded for its community service at last month’s Swim Australia Awards on the Gold Coast.

Owner Louise Schmidt said the award recognised the swim school’s partnership with the Shire of Gingin during the summer months for the past three years.

“Parents who live in the area have to do a one-hour and 40-minute round trip to the nearest swimming lessons and all that was available at the Gingin pool was two weeks of school swimming and two weeks of vacation swimming for school-aged children,” she said.

“There was nothing for pre-schoolers and adults so for the first summer, I contacted the council and hired a lane at the pool and taught kids from one year old through to adults.”

In the two years following, Royal Life Saving WA provided some funding for Seastarz to offer weekly lessons in Gingin at a reduced rate, with more than 40 people taking part.