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YMCA NSW looks to inspire a new generation of lifeguards
As part of a bid to tackle the ongoing challenge of attracting and retaining lifeguards in the community, YMCA NSW has recently welcomed three pool lifeguard trainees as part of their inaugural Australian Pool Lifeguard program.
The program is designed to give young people the opportunity to obtain a Certificate III in Aquatics and Community Recreation, providing an entry-level professional qualification that can lead to an exciting career in the community and recreation sector.
As part of their lifeguard traineeship participants spend a day at the YMCA NSW Institute of Education and Training (RTO code: 3979) combined with four days on the ground getting paid to learn the ropes.
YMCA NSW Senior Training Coordinator Andrew Chan teaches the course at the institute and says the program provides a great taste of all the areas of pool lifeguarding, from frontline service delivery all the way to project management.
Chan explains “we understand that it can be hard for young people to kick start their careers, so this program is a great opportunity for them to get their foot in the door while completing industry recognised qualifications.
“We hope that this will attract and retain pool lifeguards in the community and recreation industry as they play an important role in safeguarding swimmers.”
Shannon Reid, aged 21, is completing her traineeship at Mt Annan Leisure Centre and is eager to develop her skills and community ties.
She explains “I was inspired to go after this traineeship because I’ve always had strong roots in recreational activity and sports - it just seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to grow.
“I only recently moved here a few years ago and I’ve never really got too involved with my community and as a part of this job I really wanted to gain that connection.”
As well as the rescue and monitoring elements the participants build their water safety knowledge and awareness through undertaking Learn to Surf lessons at local beaches.
Students will also participate in some African drumming at YMCA NSW’s Yarramundi camp which places importance on leadership and facilitating qualities.
Once completed candidates are given the opportunity to continue working with YMCA NSW in part-time, full-time or casual roles, and are encouraged to progress their career at the Y - all the way up to executive leaders.
Jeremy Dimech, who is completing this program full-time at Ku-ring-gai Fitness and Aquatic Centre, has already obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Certificate III in Fitness, but says this program was a change of course for him.
Dimech advised “I was at a stage in my career where I was looking to get out from behind the computer screen and get out there into the community.
“I’d like to learn as much as I can, and of course, eventually a pathway into working with the YMCA long-term.”
Parents and other pool visitors can assist the new lifeguards by following instructions, keeping an eye on their children and just respecting the lifeguards.
Reid added “if we ask you to do something, it’s because we’ve got your safety as our first priority.”
The program is offered to Australian and New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents who are no longer at school.
YMCA NSW will be offering the traineeship again in 2018.
For more information go to www.ymcansw.org.au/employment/traineeships/lifeguard/
Images: Participants in the inaugural Australian Pool Lifeguard program (top) and YMCA NSW Senior Training Coordinator Andrew Chan promotes the program (below).
28th September 2017 - MOUNT ANNAN LEISURE CENTRE GETS OFFICIAL OPENING
26th April 2017 - ASSA LOOKS TO GLOBALISE THE SWIM SCHOOL INDUSTRY
5th July 2016 - AUSTSWIM AND YMCA NSW JOIN FORCES ON WATER SAFETY
27th October 2012 - TRAINING THE TRAINERS AT MT ANNAN LEISURE CENTRE
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