In April, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Committee contacted me and asked if the school I work at - Edgbaston High School, could provide lifeguards for the test event for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games called ‘Prep the Pool’ event. Prep the Pool was the first major event at the brand-new Sandwell Aquatics Centre venue and the start of our incredible experience!

An assessment day was soon arranged for six sixth form girls from the High School and lifeguards from Birmingham University and Sandwell Council to be tested by myself and two other RLSS UK Trainer Assessors. Prep the Pool was a success, and then a month before the Games started, Swim Safety’s owner Martin Suzan contacted me to ask if we would be willing to be part of the team to lifeguard the Games.

What an experience for all concerned! Everyone was up to date on training, working through competency in the competition pool and dive pit. Collecting the Ruth Lee from a depth of five metres was daunting, but all the lifeguards did it!

The Games ran very smoothly, and the organisation and rotation put in place by Martin and his management team were fantastic. As Supervisors, Sean, Faye, Guy and Adam, and I had an easy job as the lifeguards were also exemplary.

A fantastic couple of weeks of aquatic events to be part of, and working with such a professional group of lifeguards was awesome and a privilege! The memories made will last a lifetime!

Michelle Hayward

RLSS UK Trainer Assessor (TA)