Donna Keech is determined to get more people swimming. Her philosophy is straight forward. “Swimming is a life skill and a skill for life. It’s an exercise with longevity; a fitness activity that will serve you for life, from six months to 80 years,” she said. 

Donna and Rose Fraser are celebrating 10-years in partnership at Kepnock Pool, where they operate their businesses DNA Aquatics and Aqua Fun and Fitness. “We were once competitors, but I knew Rose was great at what she did, so we met for a coffee and I asked if she wanted to join forces. We haven’t looked back. We complement each other,” Donna said.  

Both Austswim-qualified, Donna and Rose are specialist aqua aerobics instructors. “It only takes a basic fitness certificate to be able to instruct an aqua class, but there is much more to understand about the properties of water and the effects it has on your body,” Donna said. “How your body moves and reacts to the water is very different to dry land. On land lifting a weight might increase your biceps, but in the water it’s going to do your triceps. The hydrostatic pressure of the water helps with blood flow, so we design aqua aerobics routines with that knowledge and expertise. We offer a range of different aqua aerobics classes, all designed for different purposes but with the aim of having fun.”  

Rose, who was a radiographer for 45 years, said many orthopaedic surgeons referred patients to them. “We’re not physiotherapists, but we often assist people with particular mobility problems to support their broader rehabilitation program,” Rose said. “Water is a great equaliser, where you can move for a lot longer than you might be able to out of the water. The buoyancy of the water doesn’t take as much of a toll on your knees, hips or joints. While we can scale or modify each exercise to suit individual needs, aqua aerobics is something people of all ages and abilities can do. We see everyone from seniors to pregnant women and entire sporting teams.” (see Rose on page 33)

Rose and Donna love building water confidence in both the young and old. “Our Kick Fit program, which is exclusive to DNA Aquatics, is a way of getting more people swimming. It’s for people who are not confident to swim laps but want the exercise benefits of the pool, so we give them a kick board and fins and they follow a specialised routine,” Donna said. “If we can get more adults in the water, that has a positive influence on the next generation.”

Donna, whose husband and daughter are patrolling members of Elliott Heads Surf Lifesaving Club, oversees a team of qualified, compassionate and hands-on instructors in her seasonal swim school, which offers term lessons and intensive block lessons. “Everyone learns differently. At DNA Aquatics, our teachers focus on each child as an individual,” she said. “Learning to swim at a young age opens up a world of fun. It carries a wealth of physical and mental wellbeing as well as social and community benefits that a person carries well into their senior years. It is low impact, builds endurance, improves co-ordination and balance, and builds immunity. We live in a beautiful part of the world, and we want to ensure more local children can enjoy that lifestyle safely.”

Earlier this year, Donna and Rose participated in Bundaberg Regional Council’s Be Active, Be Alive program, offering free classes over eight weeks at public pools across the Region.  


Dive in!

DNA AQUATICS & AQUA FUN AND FITNESS Kepnock State Highschool Pool Gate 3 Baird St, Kepnock
Seasonal lessons also available at Walkervale State School Pool. 0466 034 503 (Donna) 0438 410 732 (Rose) www.dnaaquaticsbundaberg.com