Carolyn Turnham, Aqua Aerobics instructor

Comments (0) Day in the Life

Water-loving Carolyn Turnham is an aqua aerobics instructor at the Port Macquarie Olympic Pool with a passion for health and wellbeing.

Carolyn was born in Goondiwindi and started swimming from a very young age. Her mother was a state champion swimmer and her father was the swimming coach at the Goondiwindi, Moree and Wauchope Pools; throughout his career he coached three Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmers. Carolyn, along with her siblings, won numerous state and national titles; however, Carolyn gave up swimming when she was 14 years old (even though her father said she had potential to go all the way). Her sister, Angela, went on to the Barcelona Olympics and Auckland Commonwealth Games, where she won Gold for Australia. Carolyn’s brother and sister have followed in their father’s footsteps as swim coaches. 

Carolyn took up swimming again in her 40s and has won state and national Gold medals in her age group for Surf Life Saving and pool swimming. She recently completed the 2018 Port Macquarie 70.3 Ironman in an all-women’s team, winning the open female category with Jules Mackin and Jan Rooney.

Having lived in Port Macquarie for 41 years, Carolyn believes the lifestyle is one of the best in the world. Carolyn has been married to her husband, Kim for 34 years and her family all share a love of the ocean, travel and sport.

Carolyn has been an aqua aerobics instructor at the Port Macquarie Olympic Pool for seven years. Aqua aerobics is a low impact cardio workout utilising the resistance of the water. She tailors the class to suit both ends of the pool, with participants choosing deep or shallow water, depending on their fitness level. Some of the participants have knee or joint problems, and they find this is a great low impact way to exercise.

Aqua aerobics gently builds endurance over an hour-long class set to motivating music. This type of movement in the water can reduce pain, tightness and tension in a low impact way, whilst improving strength and muscle tone. The class begins with a warm up, includes various cardio and resistance exercises with equipment, followed by a cool down at the end. 

As a fitness instructor, Carolyn loves being able to help people reach their goals and finds teaching aqua aerobics ties both of her passions together. 

After class the participants usually have a coffee and a catch up. Over the years they have formed some lifelong friendships and created a sense of community within their sport. 

“Everyone is down to earth and really supports each other,” Carolyn said.

Classes run on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning from 7:30am – 8:30am. Call Port Macquarie Olympic Pool on 6583 1635. 

By Jessica Oxley.



4:45am Wake up – it’s rare for me to sleep in.

5:00am Out for a ride or walk with my husband, Kim. Sometimes I do a bootcamp with Haley Hyde at Town Beach.

6:30am Home for brekky and get ready for work.

7:10am Head to work at Port Macquarie Olympic Pool.

7:30am Aqua aerobics 1-hour class.

8:30am Coffee with the aqua aerobics group.

9:00am Work in the kiosk at the pool ‘til midday.

12:00pm Jump in the pool and do some laps for fitness.

1:00pm Lunch then run some errands. Visit mum and dad, helping them with meals, chores or just to catch up and have a cuppa.

4:00pm Go to the gym.

7:00pm Dinner time, then wind down before bed at 10.

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