Confidence in your ability to swim and save your own life is a necessary skill. HT writer, Angela Reedman-Polinski, recently met with local Maleny pool managers, Brenden and Allison Roser who are focussed on teaching locals how to stay safe in the water.
By Angela Reedman-Polinski
Brenden Roser left home at 14 when he was offered a scholarship. He and Allison met in Sydney in 1998 when he was studying his Bachelor of Physical Education at the Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE). Allison’s friend was also studying there and the couple met through attending events and social activities.
“I wanted to pursue teaching in the swimming industry to give back to the sporting community that had given me so much,” shares Brenden.
Securing a position representing Australia in the Telstra Dolphins team, Brenden went on to win a bronze medal in the 1995 World Cup for his 100m freestyle race and a host of other swimming awards and medals.
The couple married in 2005 and their own private squad grew over the years to include Amity (15), Jaymes (12), Amaya (6) and then little Audrey (2).
They were awarded the management tender of the Beerwah Aquatic Centre and ran the swim coaching team and swimming lessons for 15 years.
Allison and Brenden see the importance of swim safety knowledge and safe swimming practises. “Parents know that swimming is not a hobby until you can save your own life. With quality teaching, we can help prevent drownings and keep kids safe.”
This passion drove to long hours – days and nights working hard at the pool, keeping it all running smoothly.
“Brenden was working 60 hour weeks managing, maintaining, coaching and teaching at the pool. They were long days on the hamster wheel to keep everything on track.”
Time with family is a strong value in the Roser home and they realised that long work hours were making it harder to have downtime together. At the same time, Allison lost her mother which rocked the family and pushed them to reflect even deeper on what they needed in their lives.
Allison began to look for opportunities to slow the pace down. She wanted an opportunity for Brenden and the family to spend more time together and remain deeply involved in their community.
“I felt like we needed a tighter focus on our family and friends. Time to build our dreams, cook dinner and just have time to spare.”
The family took up the management position at the Maleny Swimming Pool and dived in for the 2016-2017 season.
Allison smiles as she recalls the hectic pace of their first Maleny season with 5.30am starts and 7.30pm ends – but this time together, with the whole family involved.
“There is a busy Learn to Swim program, aqua-aerobics, community and school swimming programs, coaching sessions, lap swimming sessions and the Maleny Swimming Club nights.
“We have had a lot of fun too, like on the day Brenden joined in the World’s Greatest Shave in 2017 and had his head completely shaved alongside fellow swimmers for charity.”
This vibrant management team works well with a range of community groups, clubs and services across Maleny and the Sunshine Coast to keep the pool open and running.
“The community owns this pool and they have worked hard to raise the funds to build it and bring it to where it is today, we want to do the best for it that it deserves.”
Community response on the Maleny Pool Facebook page displays the warm support this family has from the local community. There are many messages of thanks for the invaluable skills that are taught by Brenden and the encouragement instilled through his coaching.
Brenden sees swimming as an important life skill which can be often overlooked in favour of other trends.
“The statistics show that teaching young babies and children this important skill carries throughout their life to fit adults with a strong goal focus.”
A surprising statistic to hear from Allison and Brenden is how many people in the 50+ age bracket are dying from drowning because they were never taught how to swim.
“We need swimmers that can read the surf at beaches and grandparents who can swim with their grandchildren and take care of their own lives.”
This family’s passion for swimming has trickled down the generations and young son Jaymes recently took a shining role in the National’s spotlight.
This year, Jaymes flew to Tasmania with the family to compete in a national swim competition where he won gold in the 50 metre freestyle, 12-year-old relay and swam a personal best time in every event.
Allison and Brenden were overwhelmed with the community support offered to them in getting Jaymes down there to compete.
“We received so much support from Apex Maleny, Maleny Swim Club, Maleny Trail Riders Club Inc., Andrew Powell MP’s Local Heroes grant and through our family and friends. We want to say a massive thank you for all that you did.”
Look out for this lovely family when you visit the pool this summer and be sure to make them welcome for their second season.
Learning to swim is a skill for every age and our local pool is in capable, focused and professional hands to help you reach your swimming goals.