Sport Star Academy partners with Aquastar Swim School

By Sarah Stowe | 27 Oct 2021 View comments

A new partnership between Sport Star Academy and Aquastar Swim School is set to give learn-to-swim programs a big boost as the specialist business links with the multi-sport franchisor.

Right now Aquastar Swim School owners Gareth Cope and Peter Smith have 85 staff and operate five venues across Bayside and metropolitan Melbourne teaching 3,500 students each week.

Cope holds a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science and worked in personal training and gym management before taking on the ownership and operation of Aquastar Swim Schools in 2007. Smith, now CFO of the business, joined him in 2015 bringing a strong financial background and corporate experience to the table.

Now as Aqua Star Academy the business is on the lookout for its first 100 partners to join the team and launch the franchise across the country.

There are more than 30 primary schools already using Aquastar for their annual swimming and water safety programs.

Sport Star Academy founder, Peter Nikolakopoulos, said “Swimming is by far the most popular sport in our country. Approximately 1.5 million Australian children aged 0-14 participate in organised swimming.  Sadly, children aged under 17 accounted for 15 per cent of drowning deaths in Australia in 2020/21.

“In this same year there was also a 30 per cent increase in the total number of drowning deaths across all ages. Swimming skills and water confidence will stay with these children for life.”

Nikolakopoulos said the rise in the popularity of backyard swimming pools and the Aussie love of water
sports, make it crucial that kids have vital swimming skills.

”Over more than a decade we have played a pivotal role in keeping Aussie kids active. Whether it’s football, cricket, tennis, basketball or swimming, we are committed to nurturing a love of sport and creating a movement of change for tomorrow’s grassroots leaders,” he said.

Earlier this year Sport Star Academy branched out from its sporting focus to add five new skills to its portfolio. The new sectors are wellness, arts, gaming, education and STEM which provide alternative revenue streams for franchisees already offering football, basketball, cricket, and AFl skills sessions for youngsters.

In March cricket great Shane Warne joined forces with Sport Star Academy to introduce a grassroots kids program, Cricket Star Academy.