After 50 years of providing swimming lessons to children with a disability, Rainbow Club is opening in Dubbo.
Robyn Bayliss, Rainbow Club Australia Development Coordinator (West), said demand had been strong for the not-for-profit's service in the area, following branches opening in Springwood and Lithgow.
"It was the goal of our CEO to be able to bring Rainbow Club to country regional areas. We put the word out on Facebook and the response from the Dubbo public was really, really positive. It went off; it was clearly a really good decision," Ms Bayliss said.
The aim of Rainbow Club is to offer inclusive and individualised swimming lessons for children three years to 18 years in a fun manner.
The clubs are staffed by industry-trained professional swimming instructors. Dubbo classes will be led by Dubbo locals Catherine Kelly as lead instructor and Alexandria Eves - an up and coming Paralympian.
The club is managed by parent volunteers who form a committee and oversee the day-to-day running of the club.
"Every parent who has registered has said 'I've so needed this', so it is good to know we are doing the right thing bringing it out to regional areas," Ms Bayliss said.
It's an absolute pleasure to jump in the water and teach these kids. I don't think they take anything for granted.Robyn Bayliss
The club is based at Dubbo RSL Health Club, 77 Wingewarra Street, Dubbo, on Saturdays from 12-4pm. It was meant to open last year but was delayed due to COVID-19.
Ms Bayliss is a swimming instructor at another club and said she finds teaching children with a disability "a joy".
"It's an absolute pleasure to jump in the water and teach these kids. I don't think they take anything for granted," Ms Bayliss said.
While registrations are currently full, the team is hoping to appoint more swimming instructors in the near future, which would open up more spots for local children to join the club.
"We have 12 swimmers starting and we'll try to grow that the more teachers we get," Ms Bayliss said.
"We want to get a 'train to teach' course up and running in the central west soon."
The club's major fundraiser for the year is the Malabar Magic ocean swim.
All swimming teachers are registered with the NDIS.
Register online at www.myrainbowclub.org.au