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Photos by Ross Brown
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Healthy pool water for Aussie kids

Swim school owner-operator Margie Thorpe (not related to Australian swimming star Ian Thorpe but you’ll see they share a similar passion) is a long-term resident of Mareeba in Far North Queensland, having lived in the area for 30 years – 20 of those teaching youngsters to swim, ranging from babies aged as young as four months through to early primary school children.

Qualified by AUSTSWIM in Swimming and Water Safety and Infant and Preschool Aquatics, Margie is also a licensed Swim Australia Teacher of Swimming and Teacher of Learners with Disability.

In 2011, after years of working in backyard pools, Margie and her husband Shane decided to build their own pool for her “very young, easily distracted, and special needs” customers. “Margie’s Swim School” includes a shallow area for toddlers and fearful learners to experience the fun and safety issues about being in and around water.

 

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Margie Thorpe, from Mareeba in Far North Queensland uses a chlorine-free sanitation system in her swim school pool.

Finding a healthier alternative to chlorine

Chlorine is notorious for its side effects and, for someone like Margie who spends up to seven hours a day submerged in chemically chlorinated pool water, that meant losing all of her body hair.

“I didn’t even have eyelashes,” she says.

Margie believes the combination of corrosive pool chemicals and the fumes produced by the heated water in the enclosed space not only caused significant hair loss, but potentially triggered the two bouts of pneumonia she has suffered from since building her swim school pool.

“I constantly smelt like chlorine and I do think it was getting into my lungs because I’ve had pneumonia twice in three years,” she says.

After installing a saltwater chlorinator in her custom-built swim school pool – “that was about the only way we could get water in the pool and get it up and functioning” – Margie’s husband Shane read an article about Hydroxypure in a pool magazine.

“Shane spent years researching different systems and he kept insisting that Hydroxypure was better than all of the others,” she says. “He was constantly looking, because, as the pool is basically in a large tin shed, he wanted to preserve the shed as well as me.”

 

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Margie’s Swim School teaches youngsters to swim, ranging from babies aged as young as four months through to early primary school children.

Family-friendly pool water

Instead of spending most of the day in chlorinated water, Margie is now able to teach her young students in an aquatic environment that is free of impurities and the side effects associated with chemical sanitisers. Not only that, but she says all of her hair has grown back.

“I teach a six-month old infant, who has dreadful eczema, the poor thing, and the mother told me that she doesn’t have to apply any medication for two days after swimming in Hydroxypure,” she says.

Margie teaches many children diagnosed on the autism spectrum and interestingly, she says they are fascinated with the texture of the water.

“The ozone that’s coming into the pool produces tiny bubbles, and the kids are fascinated with the texture of the water and how soft it makes their skin feel,” she says. “It shimmers like silver.”

Margie’s Swim School has received rave reviews from parents and invigorated its owner-operator.  When asked what inspires Margie to wake each morning to teach kids to swim, her answer is simple: “their smiles”.

 

Poppits pool and spa solutions

If you or someone in your family suffers from asthma, eczema, dermatitis, or a health condition that is exacerbated by the chlorine in your swimming pool or spa, then perhaps consider switching to Poppits. 

Free of harsh chemicals and chemical by-products, this Australian-made formulation uses advanced oxidisation to purify the water. Advanced oxidisation essentially raises the levels of active oxygen in the water, resulting in the removal of bacterial threats. Not only is it gentle on skin but you don’t need to shower afterwards – it feels that good on your skin.

“Endorsed by the National Asthma Council Australia, and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ as the ‘Sensitive Choice‘ in pool and spa sanitisation, Poppits spa care range is specially formulated to be gentle on skin, kind to asthmatics, and good for the environment,” says spokesman Gary Beecroft.

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Veda Dante

Veda Dante is an accomplished journalist, consultant and content creator who has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about everything from tourism, hospitality and health to architecture, pools and luxury goods. When she’s not producing copy for clients, this self-confessed word nerd is usually writing and photographing the Byron Bay region for her blog www.livebyron.com.au

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.