Serco Leisure’s seventh annual lifeguarding championships brings success for the second year running, to ‘Team Bolton’ comprising of team members from Serco’s Bolton sites.
Designed to encourage team work, develop pride in the role and act as a crucial benchmark for lifesaving skills, the championships are competed in by Serco’s lifeguarding teams, from all over the UK.
Championship winners Luke Charnley, Reece Aston, dad Ian and son Cameron Hall, Scott Welsby, Victoria Neumann, Jorge Carrington, Antony Yates, Stewart Watson, Beth Rothwell, and Jacob Hughes, are all fully-qualified lifeguards from the Westhoughton, Bolton One and Horwich sites:
“It’s quite nerve-wracking because the practical tests are all ‘blind’, we have no idea what to expect!” said Ian Hall, from Bolton.
“It’s an important event for us because we know that our skills save lives, but it’s a good fun way of putting us all to the test. There’s plenty of teasing about who’s going to win in the build-up but competition is fierce, everyone wants to win and I’m delighted to be part of the team that did!”
Held in November at Serco’s Harborough Leisure Centre in Market Harborough, the event recognises and rewards the company’s lifeguarding teams. Key inclusions are both dry and wet side training exercises, emergency first aid, quizzes and races. No-one knows what to expect and they’re all designed to take the lifeguards out of the comfort zones of what they think they know, and really put them through their paces in simulated ‘real-life’ scenarios.
Karl Jones, Serco Leisure’s Health and Safety Manager explains:
“This is an important competition for our centres. There are stringent tests and challenges that would stretch even the most experienced lifeguard team and this time was no different, with an incident on a water flume and a chemical spillage, both featuring.
“Our lifeguards are crucial members of the Serco Leisure family and seeing the quality and dedication of the teams, means I am secure in the knowledge that if you’re at one of our centres, you’re in good hands.”
This time around, the CPR test used Laerdal’s cutting-edge QCPR technology, with real time monitoring of simultaneous CPR activity on Laerdal’s manikins, with live feedback for immediate assessment.
All Serco’s lifeguards qualify with the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). The NPLQ is created and endorsed by IQL UK, the trading subsidiary of the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) and is regulated by OFQUAL, Qualifications Wales and CCEA Regulation. Jo Talbot, Director of IQL UK and RLSS UK Qualifications believes initiatives like the lifeguard championships, can play a vital part in successful lifeguard retention across the leisure sector:
“Becoming a lifeguard is an excellent way to embark on a career in leisure but it is also a role with hours and pay offering flexibility. It is this flexibility that sees the role appeal to school leavers, retirees, students wanting to fund study or travel, as well as those who can only commit to part-time hours.
“Innovative programmes like the lifeguard competitions run by Serco Leisure, only serve to enhance the offering of the role, empowering the operators to attract and retain a dedicated, highly-trained, conscientious workforce.”
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