The Bradford on Avon Lifesaving & Lifeguard Club was formed in 1971, by a handful of enthusiasts shortly after the opening of Bradford on Avon Swimming Pool.

When we meet?
We normally meet 50 weeks of the year, just closing for 2 weeks over the Christmas, New Year period.
We are allowed to enter the changing rooms to prepare for lessons from 4.50pm.
A register is taken when all members enter onto poolside. It is essential for safety purposes that all members ensure they are recorded each time they attend.
Club times are:
5pm
Junior lessons start in small and main pool
Gold Rookie, Survive and Save and NPLQ resuscitation and first aid theory classes start
5.45pm
Junior fun swim in small pool until 6pm
Gold Rookie, Survive and Save and NPLQ lessons start in main pool.
6.30pm close

Club Committee 2014
Andrea – Chair
Ann – Secretary
Andrew  – Treasurer
Dan – Membership Secretary
Anna – Welfare Officer & Child Protection
Martin – Lifeguard Co-ordinator
Charlie – Student Representative
Suzy – Committee Member

 

The history
It doesn’t bear thinking about now, but we even used to do rescue demonstrations in the Kennet & Avon Canal for the Canal Trust. We had to hose ourselves down afterwards as we covered in mud and weed. Due to health concerns, this practice has since long ceased.

By the nineties, it was time to update our rescue boat and other related accessories ( eg VHF Radios, Dry Suits etc ). However due to reductions in the water level of the River Avon, getting to access to launch our boats was now becoming difficult which now meant that we had to look for different places to train. As a result raft races and other water related activities died out

Strangely enough although it cost more in time and money, being seen in new places was probably the biggest publicity stunt that we could ever pull off. The boat crews took to Chew Valley Lake, and curious onlookers introduced themselves. Organisers of other groups asked us to provide safety cover for their own events. We now cover up to 10 events a year, between Bristol and Swindon, and we also hold our own open days on the River Avon, which serves to introduce youngsters to open water in a safe and friendly manner.

One major change that has the biggest impact on our Club, is the introduction of the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) for us it meant having to concentrate less on the traditional awards ( Bronze Medallion, Award of Merit ). This is has had the impact that we now have to have qualified Lifeguards to cover our own training sessions this means that we can avoid hiring external Lifeguards for this purpose. This has had several knock on effects for example open water qualifications have lapsed because the traditional Bronze Medallion is a pre-requisite in order for these awards to be taken. We have also had to extend our pool time in order that we can get enough training time in the water. The time and space for resuscitation training is still a issue for us, extra sessions have to take place in a local Church room a short distance from the pool.

The upheaval has had one advantage, but it has taken a lot of management. The NPLQ has become a popular qualification in order to gain employment, and we have been successful in putting people in work, which has boosted our membership for a short time. Although our membership level fluctuates weekly, we generally have about 35 members that attend most Saturday’s, with a age range currently between 4 and 67 years of age.

We enjoy ourselves socially, and try to make our lessons as fun as possible so everybody stays interested. It is our ability to face these challenges along with a great team spirit which help our Club flourishing.