When Verity Brooker and Kelly Tucker found out there was going to be no more lifesaving provision for young swimmers at Dartmouth Outdoor Pool, the two trainee PE teachers were keen to fill the gap left by the retirement of the former teacher.

With a well-appointed and popular, heated open air pool at their disposal, the two students set about making the most of their school swim teacher qualifications and started looking for a programme they could run, that would engage local youngsters over the summer holidays and increase attendance and support for the local pool.

Enter the RLSS UK Rookie Lifeguard programme – which fit the bill and the rest is history…

Not only has the programme been so popular that classes have doubled in size but there is now a dry side refresher course starting up in March 2018, to get the returning Rookies up to speed for their next level that starts again in the summer. The dry side refresher course features first aid skills, recognising whistle commands and hand signalling and the ladies have high hopes for their new course starting in the Easter holidays, at Stoke Fleming Youth Club.

Both Verity and Kelly see this as a winning situation for everyone involved:

“It gives us amazing experience of working regularly with young people, as we train for our PE teaching qualification, said Kelly, “and keeps the pool on the map for the wider locale.”

“It also means that the pool have a supply of lifeguards coming through, to help staff both the indoor and outdoor pools, added Verity. “The kids love it, it keeps the pool at the heart of the community and is a cost-effective way to keep youngsters entertained, throughout the long summer break.”

Rookie Lifeguard Ned Menzies agrees: “The lessons are such great fun and I feel very lucky to use an outdoor pool. I’ve learned some really cool skills and made some good friends too!”

Ned’s mum Emma has been delighted with her children taking part:

“Verity and Kelly held a brilliant course filled with fun and information. I felt that it also taught my children how to be safe near the water and give them first aid and lifesaving skills. My son’s water confidence improved hugely and he can’t wait to go again next year as he now wants to be an RLSS lifeguard too!”

And Reagan Carnell, mum to Rookies Liam and Myla has been told to sign them up for the next course: “They both thoroughly enjoyed it and have both moved up a level at swim school as a result. Thank you both for making it so awesome.”

Want to find out more about Dartmouth Rookies? Visit their Facebook page: @dartmouthrookies