Suspended Swim Program

Kindness is not an act, it’s a lifestyle

YMCA South Australia as an organisation in 2014 introduced a program called Suspended Swim. The idea was taken from the ‘suspended coffee’ program which originated in Italy and has become a hit with coffee sellers and the public world-wide. A customer would order a coffee and also ask for a ‘suspended coffee’. This meant that the second coffee was paid for by the customer but suspended for someone less fortunate who could not afford one. Subsequently, the ‘suspended coffee’ would be offered to another member of the community as an act of anonymous generosity.

YMCA South Australia has adapted and rebranded this idea as the ‘Suspended Swim’ program. The Suspended Swim program is based on this ‘pay it forward’ model and will allow all of our patrons the opportunity to purchase a Suspended Swim when they are paying for their regular pool entrance or swimming lesson. The Suspended Swim will then be donated to a community partner or charity for distribution to their own client base, offering some fantastic community outcomes:

  • Community members are helping someone less fortunate with their ‘pay it forward’ generosity
  • Access is made available to a YMCA managed swimming facility that may otherwise not have been affordable
  • YMCA South Australia and our partner / charity organisation achieve positive outcomes for the communities in which we work

We believe this to be innovative as it is a new way of ensuring our facilities are accessible to the wider community in a community focused easy way.

The YMCA has been recognised by the wider aquatics industry for this innovation in programming and received the Recreation South Australia Aquatic Innovation Award 2015

Contribution to the industry

This program highlights that our industry is about the communities we work in we are engaging people who would not ordinarily be able to access aquatic facilities, so by removing a barrier of cost through other users a real sense of community is also being established.

The program allows disadvantaged members of our community to gain access to aquatic facilities; this in turn opens them up to the world of aquatics and the benefits of swimming. The program can offer the opportunity of a lifetime to a young child to experience there first swim and then have access to other programs funded by the YMCA to be involved in our learn to swim program.