Children can play and swim in a swear-free zone at the Norville Pool.
Children can play and swim in a swear-free zone at the Norville Pool. RON BURGIN

Pool becomes "swear-free zone"

NORVILLE Pool managers Norm and Lyn Jarvis are on a mission to make their watering hole the friendliest in town.

The “swear-free zone” blackboard messages have been a feature of the facility since the Northern Territory pair took over four summers ago, and Mrs Jarvis says they continue to work a treat.

She said that most of the fighting and poor behaviour at the pool stemmed from initial foul language, so it was their intention to stamp it out from the start.

“Everyone takes notice of it and obeys it, to the point where kids are telling their friends to mind their language because they know they’ll be thrown out,” she said.

It is no empty threat, either — the co-manager said countless disobedient kids had been shown the door by her senior lifeguards.

“Most of them walk out on their own, but sometimes they make a scene. But that just means they won’t be welcome the weekend after that,” Mrs Jarvis said.

The popular summer escape has become a favourite of parents, who know their children will be kept in check.

“Parents say to me they’d be happy to leave their children here. They feel as if it’s a great, safe environment. And we work very hard on making it a fun and friendly pool,” she said.

Givelda State Primary School principal Adam Head, whose pupils were at the pool yesterday, was a big fan of the policy.

“It’s a brilliant idea. Swearing is so common these days and many kids don’t even realise that it’s wrong, so this is a perfect reminder,” he said.

“Our kids are generally very well mannered anyway, but for older children, and day-to-day public use when everyone is here, it really works.”

Mrs Jarvis agreed that foul language and behaviour embedded in pop-culture desensitised the younger generation.

“There is that much swearing in movies and music these days kids think it’s no big deal, but when they get warned about it here they realise how bad it sounds,” she said.



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