DEAN Ewington, managing director of Oceana Aquatic & Fitness Centre, is running for alderman in the upcoming local government elections.
Mr Ewington, who was born and bred in the area, said putting his hand up to stand for Clarence City Council was the best way to achieve solutions and make a difference in the local community.
He said he would focus on recreation, living a healthy and active lifestyle, and tackling issues such as childhood obesity.
“My call for a pontoon to be added to Bellerive Beach would be a great start to tackling the issue of childhood obesity,” he said.
“But a lot more needs to be done and while we have heard plenty of talk for a long time now, not much has really changed.
“While many issues are controlled by federal and state policy makers, I honestly believe that we can do a lot more locally in our playgrounds, parks, beaches, and recreational and sporting facilities to make it easier for kids, adults and families to live a much healthier and socially inclusive life.
“The reality is that the digital and internet age means that we need to work even harder to make kids want to be outside.
“And that will only happen if the spaces we create are more fun than being in front of a screen.”
Mr Ewington said that while the general health of the whole community was an issue, there was an obligation to focus on children.
“We can’t let them grow up being the first generation to have a lower life expectancy than the one before, which is sadly now the case,” he said.
“While I think the new playgrounds at Bellerive Beach are great for toddlers, we need to do a lot more for kids aged 10 and up as this is when they start to drop out of sports.
“Imagine Bellerive Beach with a circular jetty out into the water, pontoons in the middle, some grass to lay on, sheltered and marked swimming lanes with marker buoys, better launch facilities for kayaks, stand up paddleboards and canoes.
“The new picnic area is good, but once the sea breeze comes in it’s not that comfortable.
“Wind breaks, fire pits and a bit more shelter would make that whole area much more attractive and the current playground needs to link seamlessly to a toddler’s pool and a new jetty.
“With this type of infrastructure, more opportunities will be there for businesses to open to cater for the extra people.
“Bellerive is the best place to start, but every suburb in Clarence can be better and some other beach areas can have similar improvements.
“So much more can be done to make our city more liveable for residents and more attractive to business, which will also bring visitors and more residents.”
Mr Ewington said he looked forward to seeing how the Clarence community reacted to his focus on recreation and a healthy and active lifestyle.
He invites anyone with ideas or feedback to contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption: Dean Ewington at Bellerive Beach.