Swimming pool hoist for Merryvale

2019-04-17 06:01
Merryvale School physiotherapist, Christel Boolsen and learner, Lulonke Nombande, demonstrate how the new hydrotherapy swimming pool hoist works.  photo: Zeldré Strauss Swanepoel

Merryvale School physiotherapist, Christel Boolsen and learner, Lulonke Nombande, demonstrate how the new hydrotherapy swimming pool hoist works. photo: Zeldré Strauss Swanepoel

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YOUNG learners with physical challenges will now have the joy of easily getting in and out of their school’s indoor pool, owing to a life-changing donation.

The Merryvale School for Specialised Education, which specialises in providing education to children with intellectual and physical challenges, was in desperate need of a swimming pool hoist to assist with getting learners in and out of the pool when they receive hydrotherapy.

The school, with 318 learners aged 6 to 18, provides most ancillary equipment and teaching aids acquired from the school’s own resources.

The school, however did not have the funding for a hoist and two sponsors, Barney’s Tavern and the Rotary Club PE South, which, through a golf day held in November last year, raised R40 100. This donation enabled to school to install a hoist.

Merryvale School HOD, Antoinette Esterhuyse, said, “We had to wait a long time for this much-needed equipment and we are very grateful to our sponsors.”

The school’s physiotherapist, Christel Boolsen, explained how difficult it was to get learners – especially those with severe physical disabilities – in and out of the pool for their hydrotherapy sessions.

“In the past, it took myself and three other staff members to lift and lower them into the pool, which itself can take 10 minutes per session.”

The hoist can safely carry a weight of 130kg and can lower the wheelchair seat below the water level in the pool. The control raises and lowers a chair by way of a three-way valve by water pressure.

“The installation of this system will make a huge improvement in transfer time, reducing the difficult physical effort for the therapist, assisting teachers and staff in moving our learners,” Esterhuyse said.

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