All of the Lifeguards are volunteers and members of the Swimming Club. Any member (over 18 years) is more than welcome to train with us as a Lifeguard.
They undertake the training sessions knowing that they will be soon be proudly wearing our yellow t-shirt and whistle (oh the perks!) and having a laugh at the social gatherings with their new friends about their long-forgotten first-day nerves.
On a more serious note, there is also the real benefit of members obtaining life-saving skills that hopefully will never need to be used, but they will have the ability and knowledge to do so with confidence if ever needed.
The training sessions take place at the start of the Autumn term and run once a week (usually a Tuesday evening) for approximately ten weeks. In this time, the theory, pool and poolside work take place in a friendly, encouraging environment. The Assessment is also undertaken in a non-pressured manner and is more to fulfil the Royal Lifeguard Swimming Society (RLSS) requirements than to make people feel apprehensive and nervous.
All of our Lifeguards have passed confidently each time and we have many years of Lifeguard training under our belts so any nerves can be quickly dismissed once you meet the friendly parents you will be training with.
Once qualified, all Lifeguards will be allocated duties throughout the year. Once a duty date has been assigned, you will be paired with a seasoned “buddy” who will sit with you throughout the first duty and take the time to answer any questions, show you how the pool procedures are carried out and to introduce all new Lifeguards to regular members.
We have minimal committee meetings and various social gatherings and presentations throughout the year but there’s always room for new Lifeguards to join our friendly team.
Any member interested in becoming a lifeguard should contact the club.
Spanning the Generations:
Dad & Daughter
Doreen: Proud recipient of RLSS 30 Year Long Service Award
My swimming “career” began when my children learnt to swim. At that time I only managed a width of West Wickham baths! From having lessons myself I progressed to taking the Bronze Medallion and then to qualifying as a swimming instructor taking my ASA Teachers’ Certificate and ASA Advanced Teachers’ Certificate at Crystal Palace in 1997. I then went on to qualify as a RLSS teacher and examiner and then was offered lessons as a part-time instructor at West Wickham, Beckenham and Darrick Wood. In 1985 I moved to the Walnuts Leisure Centre as a sports assistant and swimming instructor full-time. I examined the first lifeguards for BHSCC at the Walnuts.
When I left at the end of 1989 to return to my original career as a secretary – I wanted to work 9 – 5 hours again – BHSSC asked me to take the Saturday lessons and the Tuesday evening Bronze Medallion courses so I have been involved with the Club since its beginning. I gave up teaching when I retired but continued filling in when required. The Club made me an Honorary Life Member in 2005 – a lovely recognition – and I then became secretary for the Club, something which I am still doing.
The RLSS recognised all the efforts we put in and last October I received a bar to my Long Service Cross – 30 years!
Who would have thought that when I took two small children for swimming lessons, my swimming teaching experiences would take me to so many places and to meet and teach so many people on the way. (They also included taking early morning lessons at Hawes Down school, Croydon High School, Farringtons and a few times at Camberwell). A few years ago I coached some Bromley High Sixth Formers for their Bronze in order to go towards attaining their Duke of Edinburgh Award. I was also involved with lifeguarding on Minster Beach at the end of the 70’s!
I have enjoyed all these years and have met some really lovely people on the way and it has been great seeing people swimming and enjoying the water. Sometimes I have had whole families from grandma down and now I see some of the children grown up with their own children. This part makes me feel I must be getting old!!!
Doreen Doland - Jan 2012