Monash Sport Introduces New Learn to Swim Memberships!

Monash Sport is excited to announce that we are moving to Learn to Swim Memberships!

Forming a part of our commitment in providing engaging, innovative and high quality experiences, Monash Sport will soon be installing a new integrated software management system to its operations across the Clayton, Caulfield and Peninsula campuses, which will vastly improve the way in which we deliver our programs and services to you.

We are excited about the installation of this new software management system, and the improved service capabilities and efficiencies that it will bring to our operations, including greater online functionality, with the ability to update membership details and view class availability and student level progress at your own convenience. For Learn to Swim, we will be introducing Learn to Swim Memberships, with the benefits outlined below.

What does a Learn to Swim Membership mean for you?

•    Your lesson day and time will automatically be rolled over at the end of each term, for the start of the following term. Therefore, there is no need to remember to re-enrol each term.
•    No need to pay the term fees upfront. Fortnightly payments will be made from your choice of bank account or credit card. Payments will be processed one fortnight in advance (ie for lessons to be completed in the subsequent two weeks).
•    Fees are calculated on 40 weeks of lessons per year and  payments are processed across 24 debits per annum (2 debits per annum would automatically be suspended, one in the first and last fortnight of the year)

What are the benefits of the Learn to Swim Membership?

You will still receive many of the same great benefits that you have been used to, however we have made a few changes:
•    Complimentary practice swimming and access to the aquatic facility will be available to the Learn to Swim Member outside of lesson times and during the school holiday and non-debited periods.
•    Complimentary access to the aquatic facility will be provided for an immediate family member on the Learn to Swim Members lesson day.
•    A complimentary FREE enrolment to one (1) week of Holiday Intensive Swimming Program will be provided to the Learn to Swim Member per calendar year. (This will replace our previous make up lesson policy).
•    A complimentary Family Swim Pass will be made available on application for up to two (2) missed lessons per term.
•    A 50% discount will be applied to enrolments into any additional lessons per week by the Learn to Swim Member.
•    A 15% discount will be applied to the membership of 3rd person in the family when 3 or more family members are enrolled into the Learn to Swim Program (applied to the membership of the lowest value).
•    A 10% discount will be applied to all merchandise purchased at Monash Sport.

What to do during the upcoming re-enrolment period (13 June - 26 June)?

•    Attend the Doug Ellis Pool to complete the membership form. We will be unable to complete
re-enrolments over the phone.
•    Complete the re-enrolment form making sure you have included all the details of the responsible person (a person over the age of 18 who will authorise any payments).
•    Ensure the Direct Debit information with either your Bank Account or Credit Card Account authorisation has been completed.
•    Ensure the Term and Conditions of the Learn to Swim Membership have been read and understood and that the enrolment form has been signed.
•    During the re-enrolment period, an upfront pro-rata payment will need to be paid for any lessons prior to the first direct debit date, Thursday 04 August, 2016. This may be either 3 or 4 weeks of lessons dependent upon your lesson day.
•    Monash Sport will waive the 12 week minimum term for Learn to Swim Memberships for all
re-enrolments completed during the re-enrolment period, 13 June - 26 June 2016.
•    The first date of your direct debit will be Thursday 4 August, 2016.

Glute Activation & Strengthening

By Health and Fitness Instructor Carmen

Most people are sitting in a hip-flexed position for the majority of the day, resulting in shortened hip-flexors and weakened glutes.

Weak glutes may be the cause of:
- Anterior hip pain (due to compensation of the hamstrings)
- Hamstring strains (due to synergistic dominance)
- Anterior knee pain (due to poor glute medius strength)

In addition, a lack of glute activation may be the primary source of lower back pain for many individuals.

Note: The solution to back pain isn't found in the back, it's in the hips!

Glute activation should be performed at the beginning of every workout. This may aid in developing better conscious awareness of glutes and ensuring they become better contributors during the workout.

Exercise 1: Bird-Dog
Perform 3 sets of 8 repititions (reps) on each side.
- Progress to 10 then 12 reps of a 4 week period.

Exercise 2: The Hip Lift
Perform 3 sets of 8 reps.
- Progress to 10 then 12 reps of a 4 week period.

Exercise 3: Foot-Elevated Hip Lift (advanced)

- Once 12 quality reps can be performed, the supporting foot can be elevated onto an aerobic step then further progressed onto an unstable surface (balance board, foam roller, medicine ball etc).

Water Wise Receives National Recognition

Monash Sport Deputy Director Darren McLeod receiving the award from Swim Australia General Manager Gary Toner

Monash Sport's Water Wise swim program has been given national recognition, after receiving the "Best Swim School Innovation" Award at the Swim Australia Awards held on the Gold Coast.

The Swim Australia Awards are an annual event, recognising the best services and programs run by aquatic centers throughout the country. They are divided up into categories such as servicing the community, customer service and innovation.

The awards committee decided to present Monash Sport the "Best Swim School Innovation" Award for the Water Wise program, due to its originality in teaching university students how to swim, and its accessibility by being a free swim class. 

The Water Wise swim program is an introductory swim class for Monash University students who have had no formal swimming lessons. The aim of the program is to increase water safety and swimming ability of Monash University students, particularly international students who are not accustomed to Australian beaches.

The Adult Learn to Swim Program is also funded by the Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF), meaning students who enroll in Water Wise do not have to pay for a single class.

Since Water Wise was launched in January 2015, and more than 1,500 students have participated in the beginner program.

If you would like to learn to swim through the Water Wise program, find more information on our website here.

Our Active Staff: Shane

The staff at Monash Sport not only work in health and fitness, they live and breathe it.

Shane Adams is the Health and Fitness Operations Coordinator at the Monash Sport Clayton Fitness Centre, and recently completed the Port Macquarie Ironman, his first attempt at a full ironman distance event.

The Port Macquarie Ironman consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run, which ultimately took Shane 13 hours and 35 minutes to complete.

Before going into the event, Shane was excited at the prospect of a new challenge after 15 years of competing in triathlons.

"I'd been doing a lot of sprint distance triathlons, and also competed in a number of Olympic distance events as well, so for me the next step forward was to move into the longer course triathlons. I had done one half Ironman event, and thought from there thought I'd like to give the full Ironman a go," Shane said.

An experienced campaigner in the sport, Shane knew a well planned preparation was key to bringing his best come event day.

"I made the commitment about 12 months out from the actual event, so I had a good length of time to map out a full training plan. That involved doing a fair bit of research, looking at what other athletes had done as far as their preparation went for the longer course training," he said.

Shane would chop up his training into three phases in the months leading up to the event. First a preparation phase, which includes lighter work loads and general preparation for an upcoming event. A middle phase where the training loads are increased to match the distance of the event he is training for. And a tapering phase stretching two-three weeks before the Ironman, where the training level drops but intensity increases, leaving time to rest up before the event.

Over a 'standard' week Shane will swim twice, ride 60-120km, run once and do two strength training sessions. He enjoys every second of it, and thrives on the opportunity to bring the best out of himself.

"In the professional ranks there's certainly ladders and rankings and so forth, but for myself really it's more just recreation," he said.

"I'm more of an age group warrior I suppose you could call me, and it's more just for enjoyment. I have a couple of close friends that I compete against and we get quite competitive with each other, but at the end of the day it's all just a bit of fun and it's just about finishing."

"Tips I could give people that are looking to move into the sport would be first and foremost, just to enjoy it. Don't take it too seriously at the start, just go out and have a bit of fun with it."

Working at Monash Sport for the last four years, Shane finds working with the Monash community very rewarding, and feels the Health and Fitness Team at Monash Sport have a lot to offer.

"I like to see people achieve their goals, which is very rewarding as well. So when you write a member up a program, and over a period of time you see them achieve the goals they've set out to achieve, it's something that I get a great buzz from," Shane said.
"Look all our trainers have a fantastic wealth of knowledge, I think as a team we're into a lot of different sports, and a lot of different activities. So as a member, to be able to draw on the wealth of knowledge that all our trainers have in a whole heap of different areas."

"And I think from a member point of view it's really worth while coming in and talking to one of the trainers, because those trainers can really help you develop and progress, and get the best out of yourself." 

Shane works at the Clayton Fitness Centre and is welcome to answer any questions you may have on triathlons. See the video about Shane here:

Play On! Huge Success at Caulfield

As the end of semester approaches and exams draw closer, it is common for students to throw themselves into a cycle of constant study. A lot of students prefer the cramming method, despite a balance of study and physical activity being the recommended practice by Monash University.

Monash University supports the notion of getting active to clear your mind for productive study. Which is why Monash Sport and the Caulfield campus Student Union, MONSU, joined forces to bring Play On! to the Caulfield Green in Week 10.

At Play On!, students could blend their own smoothies on a spin bike, play in a three-on-three basketball competition, or have a game of Bubble Soccer with their friends. MONSU's 'mid-week meat' barbecue offered students free sausages and burgers, including vegetarian options.  

Director of Monash Sport, Brett Lavale, believes it is important to remind students of the enjoyment in getting outdoors and having fun with friends.

"The main aim of the event was to encourage students to be healthy and active, and to take the time out of their day to spend some time doing exercise, physical activity, or recreating in this busy lead up to the exam period," he said.

Five teams competed in the three-on-three basketball competition on the new Caulfield Green courts, with both the first and second placed teams receiving gift vouchers.

Why Sculling Matters in Swimming

Sculling is a useful skill for all ages and abilities to learn and continue to refine. Sculling can initially be taught as a swimming safety skill, allowing you to stay afloat in a horizontal position. However it is also the basic skill which builds the foundation of all strokes and many other techniques.  
Being able to produce the maximum amount of force with the hand is what many coaches refer as 'feeling the water'. In swimming technique sessions, sculling drills can help you increase your feel for both the water and your hand positioning, improving your catch position and your stroke power as a result. Creating maximum power with correct technique and minimising effort expended develops efficient strokes. 
Drills and activities for practicing and improving sculling are suitable for all levels of swimmers. 

Tips for sculling technique:
- Angle palms out, with thumbs pointing slightly down and little finger leading outward (outward sweep)
- Then angle palms in with the thumbs leading inward and slightly upwards (inward sweep).
- Apply equal pressure against the water for both the outward and the inward sweeps, with hands angled at 45 degrees
- Keep your upper arms reasonably still and allow the hands and forearms to move outwards and inwards in relaxed, smooth but firm, continuous movements. 
- It is important to remember the back of the hand faces the direction you wish to travel in. 
- Fingers should be relaxed, rather than squeezed tightly together and your hand relatively flat rather than cupped.  
Moving your arms and hands in a sweeping motion is very important for sculling.
Activities and drills for sculling technique:
- Sculling while treading water, in an upright position
- Stationary sculling, floating flat on your back without kicking.
- Head first sculling, while floating on your back and fingertips tilted towards the surface of the water and without kicking
- Feet first sculling, while floating on your back and fingertips are pointed towards the bottom of the pool. Ensure your feet are together and not kicking, as this will propel you in the opposite direction. 
-Front sculling, while horizontal on your front with your arms directly out in front of you and elbows slightly bent. To move forward, tilt your forearms and palms backwards towards your body and move your hands in an figure of eight motion.
Sculling while propelling yourself forward can be tough, as you’ll need the strength to meet the force of the water’s resistance against your body. To help reduce this resistance, ensure your body is as flat as possible in the water. If you find your legs sinking, try using a pullbuoy to keep them afloat.

Sculling is a great activity, with so many benefits for water safety and swimming technique for all strokes. Developing your feel for the water can be fun and improve your swimming all round.

See you at the pool!

Access to the Monash Sport Clayton Building has Changed

Effective Wednesday 11 May, members wishing to train early in the mornings must acknowledge there are changes to how you can access the Monash Sport Clayton facilities.

The entry doors at the front (Scenic Boulevard side) and rear (leading out to the ovals) of the building will automatically unlock and provide access at the following times:

Monday - Friday: 5.55am
Saturday and Sunday: 7.55am

This change has been implemented to ensure Monash Sport remain in line with OHS considerations in regards to ensuring there is appropriate staffing and supervisory levels available at all times while members are in the building.

Please speak to a Monash Sport staff member if you have any questions.

Learn to Eat Healthy with Expert Dieticians

The Health and Fitness Instructors at Monash Sport can help you with every aspect of your training, ensuring you are doing the right things to achieve your fitness goals.

However when it comes to eating right, Monash Sport has partnered with the University's Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Department to provide an avenue for members seeking advice on nutrition and healthy eating.

The BASE (Be Active Sleep Eat) nutritional clinic allows members to meet one-on-one with a trained dietitian to ensure your eating is complimenting your training.

Monash Sport members can get exceptional rates for appointments at BASE.
- $15 charge per appointment (new or review)
- $5 charge per appointment (new or review) for students, pensioners and concession card holders

Further information about BASE can be found here:

Play On! Coming Week 10 to Caulfield

Following big success in 2015, Play On! is making a much anticipated return to energize the Caulfield Green.

Including attractions such as Bubble Soccer, Bike n' Blend smoothies and a three-on-three basketball competition on the new blue court, Play On! is an event catered for all students, encouraging everyone to to balance their studies with fun physical activity.

The Caulfield Green will be transformed into a festival celebrating healthy lifestyles, with MONSU partnering up with Monash Sport for the event and the weekly Mid-Week Meat held as per usual during Play On!

Play On! will begin at 11.30am on May 11 and will finish at 2pm.