Aquamoves Team Member Fernando Saraiva has been nominated in the 'Swim Teacher (for Person’s with a Disability) Award' category for outstanding achievement.
Aquatics Recreation Victoria (ARV) hold annual awards for outstanding achievement in the aquatic and fitness industry. You may remember last year our very own Bec Parris won the Group Fitness Instructor award.
Fernando (Fernie) was born in Angola, lived in Portugal, then England, moved to Shepparton in 2001. He has an infectious vivacious energy. From a very young age he was responsible for caring for his grandfather that was blinded. He also learnt to swim at an early age and always viewed the ability to swim and play safely in the water as a gift. He volunteered at a special school in the United Kingdom and then again when he moved to Shepparton at the Verney Road Special School.
Fernie’s students range in age from five to 14 years. Fernie was drawn to swim teaching due to the high rate of fatalities/drownings. His outlook is based on not looking a person’s disabilities and limitations, but rather looking for what students can do in the water. He encourages students and engages with them by introducing fun and laughter at all times and where ever possible through the use of games.
Fernie utilises visual aides and picture cards as visual queues to communicate with his students and this enables him to understand and determine what they would like to do. This in turn promotes motivation in his students and has resulted in advances in their abilities and confidence in the water.
Aquamoves Centre Manager Marcus Cook had this to say about Fernie's performance:
"Fernie presents as a warm, positive and passionate swimming instructor who is an integral part of the Aquamoves team. His love of the water combined with his teaching knowledge and experience allows Fernie to engage with a diverse range of people who access swimming lessons at the centre.
Consistently going over and above to learn about the needs of individuals is a part of what makes Fernie special. He is able to adapt lessons in such a way that allows students to progress and develop confidence in the water. His supportive nature ensures that each person learns new skills no matter what obstacles or barriers they may face. Aquamoves is very fortunate to have Fernie as part of our Swimming Instructor team; his smile alone can brighten your day.”
The awards night will be held at the Peninsula Docklands in Melbourne on Friday 16 June and we wish Fernie best of luck with his nomination!