Youngsters eyeing a career as lifeguards can head to Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and drop in for the Junior Lifeguard Club and Canadian Swim Patrol.
According to Mike Seginowich, aquatics coordinator at the centre, the Junior Lifeguard Club is more like Cub Scouts than anything and targeted at children aged eight to 12 years. The program is a feeder for Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross lifesaving programs, he said.
“The whole idea behind it is to create a club type environment … something that the kids can come to on a regular basis, so it’s not necessarily always a set program for 10 weeks long,” said Seginowich. “They can continue to come for years if they really wanted to.”
The intention is for children to have fun and learn lifesaving skills, such as infant, child and adult CPR.
Seginowich said Guy Yarmack is the Junior Lifeguard Program instructor.
“He has lots of cool things planned,” said Seginowich. “Just before summer, we had a local paddleboard company come in, so the kids got to try stand-up paddleboarding in our pool, which is great. He’s also had an ambulance come in and the kids get to do a tour on the ambulance.”
In the summer months, participants are taken up to Westwood Lake, as it is a lifeguarded beach.
Seginowich likes the idea that the lifeguard program is like a club, not focusing on passing or failing. Participants have the potential to be employees, said Seginowich.
“It’s come in, let’s have some fun, learn a couple of things, let’s play some games and I can’t say enough about Guy,” said Seginowich. “He’s really keen. He’s been doing it for a long time. He’s got a good following as well.”
The Canadian Swim Patrol is set up as three different programs – rookie, ranger and star. It is another good opportunity to learn lifesaving skills, Seginowich said.
“There’s a variety of different skills that they are actually evaluated on and once they meet all their criteria and they pass the skills, then they get their certification in rookie and then ranger and then star,” he said.
Junior Lifeguard Club runs on Saturdays year-round from noon to 1:30 p.m. and Canadian Swim Patrol takes place Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. The next session begins Jan. 10.
For more information, please call parks and recreation at 250-756-5200.