Free Swims for Over 80s
Gore District residents aged 80 years and over will be able to visit the Gore Aquatic Centre for free in future.
The Gore District Council has unanimously endorsed a proposal to provide free entry and aquafit classes for its more senior residents, one of the few councils in New Zealand to do so.
Senior swimmers aged 60 years and over currently pay $4.50 entry to the pool. To qualify for free entry, people will only have to show proof of age, for example a driver’s licence, to staff.
It is unknown exactly how many people aged 80 years plus use the pool on a casual basis each year as senior swimmers are classified as 60 years and over. However, there are 20 swimmers over 80 with annual memberships.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said the offer was another step in ensuring Gore was age-friendly and meeting the aims of its Ready for Living programme.
“Given we have an ageing demographic, it’s important we make the District an attractive place for people to live and remain active after they retire.”
Ready for Living Coordinator Kylie Aitken said it was outstanding this opportunity was now available given the high number of over 80s in the Gore District.
“Research shows swimming has many positive benefits for health, such as reducing social isolation and loneliness among older people, which is a growing concern.”
Gore Aquatic Centre Manager Martin MacKereth said giving its senior customers free access to the pool was exciting.
“It’s a great way to say thank you and give back to people for the time they have put into our community.
“The complex has been a place for people's well-being and social life for many years. For those in retirement, it’s a place to catch up, work out or relax in the spa.”