Peaty Performance Prompts Local Pools to Recruit More Staff
A surge of interest in swimming thanks to Adam Peaty’s success in Rio and the continued lack of pool space in Derby has prompted Lonsdale Swimming & Sports Trust to step up its recruitment of more swimming teachers and lifeguards.
The charitable Trust oversees Gayton Pool in Littleover on behalf of Derby City Council and also 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.
Since the Olympics this summer which saw Adam Peaty clinch Gold and Silver medals, the waiting list for children’s and adult swimming lessons has swelled and numbers at the community sessions has grown. Lonsdale currently employs 50 staff and the two pools are used by more than 1,600 children and adults every week. It is hoping to recruit a further four teachers and five lifeguards to work across both sites. Ian Cotter, chair of Lonsdale Trust, explained: “Adam Peaty has trained at Lonsdale Pool with the City of Derby club on many occasions over the years. “He is a strong supporter of our bid to find a site in the west of Derby to build a new 25 metre, eight lane pool to replace the ageing Lonsdale Pool on Varsity Grange as well as community and fitness facilities. “Since Adam and his fellow team members’ success in the pool at Rio, interest amongst children and adults for the lessons we provide here and attendance at both the club and community sessions has grown significantly. “Although the increased interest in swimming amongst local people is obviously great news for the sport, the current lifeguard and teaching staff are at full capacity and I hope that the Olympics has also inspired more people to consider a career pool side as a lifeguard or teacher. “There is a long waiting list for lessons and therefore there is a need to recruit at least four teachers and five lifeguards with an immediate start and flexible hours to fit in with their other family, school and university commitments. “This renewed interest in swimming, further inspired by Adam’s success, also makes our bid to build a larger pool that we have been planning for several years even more 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. “When this does go ahead, we will have more capacity and will need even more staff, to teach more lessons, accommodate more schools and clubs and be able to expand the community sessions which are currently limited to 30 people in the pool at a time.
Adam Peaty commented previously on Lonsdale’s bid for a new pool: “I trained at Lonsdale Pool for nearly three years when I was younger and, without that support and those facilities, I would not be at the stage I am now. “There are a lot of clubs in Derby and the surrounding area and we need good quality pools to ensure everyone gets the training that they need. “It is a particularly good idea that Lonsdale are planning to have a fitness suite as part of the new building as training out of the pool is just as important.”
Fellow Trust member Doug Whitlam is also chair of the Derbyshire Amateur Swimming Association and President of Derby Phoenix swimming club, which trains at Lonsdale Pool. He continued that there was a widespread shortage of swimming teachers and that Lonsdale 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 at Lonsdale. Training is then provided for people to progress onto swimming teacher qualifications which the organisation 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.
Mr Whitlam added: “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 job opportunities through Lonsdale Sports and Swimming Trust, please visit www.lsst.org.uk