Lonsdale Steps Up Efforts To Keep Derby Swimming
Lonsdale Swimming & Sports Trust is stepping up its recruitment of more swimming teachers to cope with the increased demand for school and public lessons with the impending closure of Moorways pool.
The charitable Trust runs Gayton Pool in Littleover on behalf of Derby City Council and also owns Lonsdale Pool in Mickleover, which it is currently hoping to replace with a new £4 million facility as soon as another local 1.5 acre site can be secured. The Trust currently employs 50 staff – including 19 teachers who handle lessons for more than 1,400 children and adults a week at a wide variety of sessions at the two pools.
Extra swimming sessions for children of all ages are being organised due to public demand and an additional five schools have joined the eight who currently bring their pupils to Gayton and the seven schools who have lessons at Lonsdale. Ian Cotter, chair of Lonsdale Trust, explained: “We have seen an increase in the number of parents contacting us wanting their children to start swimming lessons or to transfer from Moorways. “There has also been a rise in enquiries from schools who will now be bringing their pupils to Lonsdale or Gayton after the Easter holidays. “Consequently, we are now at full capacity and our immediate priority is to recruit more swimming teachers to cope with the extra demand.
“The impending closure of Moorways has also brought extra focus to our efforts to secure a site to build a new 25m eight lane pool in the west of Derby to replace the ageing Lonsdale pool which will give us extra capacity to accommodate more lessons and school sessions. “The larger pool that we have been planning for several years now is vital to ‘Keep Derby Swimming’. “We are in discussion with a number of land owners to secure the land that we need to build the new swimming and leisure facilities in this area and hope that at least one of these sites will come to fruition in the near future.”
Lynda Mangnall, manager of Lonsdale and Gayton pools continued that there was a widespread shortage of swimming teachers and the Trust was providing financial support to encourage more people to train.
The first stage of training is completing the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) Aquatic Helper qualification and the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification through Lonsdale Trust.
Training is then provided for people to progress onto swimming teacher qualifications which the Trust will pay for – equating to £1,000. Individuals are asked to then work unpaid for at least two hours a week for an equivalent time of the cost of qualifications and then move into paid posts.
Lynda said: “Teaching swimming an ideal professional for people at all sorts of stages of their lives. “Young people can combine teaching with their studies at school and university and it is also great for parents returning to the workplace as they can juggle job and home commitments. “I think some people are put off by the cost of taking these qualifications but we were working hard to support people to take up the profession by sponsoring them now provided they commit to teaching here after qualifying. “As long as people are at a reasonable level of swimming themselves and have a passion for teaching and working with people, then it is the ideal job.”
For more information about lessons and teaching opportunities through Lonsdale Sports and Swimming Trust, please visit www.lsst.org.uk