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Pushing for a pontoon

OCEANA Aquatic and Fitness has thrown its support behind the establishment of a pontoon at Bellerive and Howrah beaches, offering to help cover the installation costs.

Managing director Dean Ewington said a pontoon would be a low cost way of getting children active.

“It would certainly cost less than a playground and also cater for kids older than those that use traditional playgrounds,” he said.

“We have known about childhood obesity for a while, so simple solutions such as this should really be in place already.

“Sports are great for the competitive kids, but we also need to consider activities that don’t include competition and this will be one such activity.

“The pontoons at Sandy Bay and Kingston are always full of kids and I am sure this one would be too.”

Mr Ewington said he also supported the idea of buoys.

“If buoys were added to the water in a lane of around 100-metres, then people could swim laps,” he said.

“That way more people would feel comfortable swimming in the ocean with a ‘safety in numbers’ mindset.

“This would create more exercise and social interaction and could be done all year round, as you can get really good swimming wetsuits these days.”

Mr Ewington said a pontoon had recently been installed at Orford for around $14,000.

As it was installed by local divers, he said the job was done in a very short timeframe.

“A pontoon will really challenge kids to try and swim longer distances – rather than just wade in waist deep water – while also making it safer by having all swimmers concentrated in one place,” he said.

“By swimming more often, they will also become better swimmers, which will help with water safety.

“The western shore has them, so why not the Eastern Shore?”

Caption: Oceana Aquatic and Fitness managing director Dean Ewington supports the idea of pontoons at Bellerive and Howrah Beaches.