Warm-water aerobics classes great therapy

Aqua aerobics instructor Sharon Teavae leads a class at the Otago Therapeutic Pool on Thursday....
Aqua aerobics instructor Sharon Teavae leads a class at the Otago Therapeutic Pool on Thursday. Photo by Linda Robertson.

If the warm waters of Otago Therapeutic Pool closed, members of an aqua aerobics classes would be ''deeply saddened''.

Beth Hastie (75) said she had attended aqua aerobics classes at the pool for about 25 years and the workout attracted a mixed crowd.

''There's all sort of shapes and sizes and ages.''

She would be disappointed if the pool closed and the classes stopped.

''It's exercise I know I can do ... I've had a knee and ankle replacement and the water is warmer here than Moana Pool. It's much better on the joints.''

The heated water allowed her to moderate her workout because she could remain warm if she could not keep up with the pace set by the instructor, she said.

Instructor Sharon Teavae said she had been teaching aqua aerobics at the pool for about 20 years and it was rewarding to see people benefit from the classes.

Many people started the classes hunched over and were standing tall after a few classes, she said.

''That is the most satisfying thing for me.''

The people who attended classes were ''pretty much exclusively'' women but everyone was welcome, she said.

A rugby league team took the class once but the muscled men were too heavy for the flotation devices and sank, she said, laughing.

The class had exclusive use of the pool for the sessions which were held in the pool's deep and shallow ends. That option was not possible at Moana Pool, she said.

''This pool is unique - there are not many pools in New Zealand where people could do aqua aerobics and do deep-water and shallow-water work in the same session.''

The warm water helped people keep muscles ''nice and supple'' after the workout.

Classes were held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Aqua aerobics regular Lynley Grubb said she would be ''deeply saddened'' if the social classes stopped because she got the best night of sleep after a workout.

Susan Taylor said she enjoyed the classes because the changing rooms were closer to the pool than at Moana, where a long parade past the gym was required.

Age Concern worker Jane Clutha, who took a class on Thursday, said the pool was ''pretty damn important'' for everybody and especially the elderly.

It would be ''devastating'' if it closed.

Otago Therapeutic Pool Trust secretary treasurer Neville Martin said the fundraising total was $119,000 yesterday.

The trust aimed to raise $1.5 million for upgrades and operational funding.shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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