Seniors to test the waters of aquatic centre ... for free

THE doors of the Orange Aquatic Centre will be thrown open to the city's senior citizens next week in a bid to promote water safety knowledge.

Just one of a series of initiatives Orange City Council will run throughout next week's 2014 NSW Seniors Week, senior concession card holders will receive free entry to the pool with the idea of promoting water safety.

Orange City Council services policy chair councillor Ron Gander said it will be a great opportunity for older residents who've never been inside the pool before.

"Opening the doors of the Aquatic Centre free of charge is a great way to celebrate the active, healthy and independent seniors involved in the community," Cr Gander said.

It's estimated by 2020 approximately one third of the population will be aged 55 or older, further highlighting the importance to promote the benefits of aquatic exercise and implement strategies to reduce the number of drowning deaths for older Australians now

As a result, Seniors Week is also running an information session for the Royal Life Saving Society's Grey Medallion.

To be held each Thursday morning at the Orange Aquatic Centre between March 20 and April 16, the program is a great idea for grandparents who look after their grandkids as well as a great way to stay active in the water

Aquatic Centre manager Josh Maley said looking at getting senior citizens their Grey Medallion was a great idea for two reasons.

"One, they're swimming together, so if one of them gets in trouble the other knows what to do to help them and the other benefit is grand parents bring kids to the pool," Mr Maley said.

"The safety with kids to the pool, what to do when their grandkids get in trouble or start to struggle in the water."

A regular at the Orange Aquatic Centre, Ron Goodhew said swimming was "good for exercise and mental health".

"It's good for all our health. Companionship too," Mr Goodhew said.

"I've been coming here for years and years ... even before this (indoor pool) one was open.

"The relaxation, it's good for my health and it just makes you feel good."

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