Lifeguards up for the challenge

Article image - Lifeguards up for the challenge Ongoing training keeps AFAC lifeguards and swim instructors at the forefront of their field.

Western Australia’s state-of-the-art indoor aquatic facility at the City of Armadale is home to an exceptional team of lifeguards and swim school instructors.

Since its opening in early 2019, the Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre (AFAC) has picked up a swag of industry awards, including recognition in 2020 as Western Australia’s AUSTSWIM Swimming and Water Safety School of the Year. But no prize is more exciting than winning the 2021 Royal Life Saving Western Australia’s Lifeguard Challenge.

In February, AFAC sent two teams to the challenge held at Riverton Leisureplex.

Although this was only the centre’s second year competing,
both AFAC lifeguard teams proved to be winners.

The first team won the overall challenge after competing in swimming, aquatic rescue tows, throw rope rescues, and a CPR skills test.

AFAC’s second team was recognised for ‘going above and beyond’ in a first-aid challenge where blindfolded lifeguards could only rely on verbal cues from their partners to treat an injury correctly. Great team camaraderie and co-operation proved to be a winner!

The winning teams of lifeguards and swim school instructors are a testament to the centre’s strong focus on staff training and commitment to providing ongoing professional development.

In the past 12 months, AFAC has invested over $5,000 in additional lifeguard training equipment. The Swim School’s trainee program is the first program of its kind. New trainees complete a two-week intensive course which delivers hands-on training and assessments on a regular basis to ensure teachers are delivering swimming training at a gold accredited level.

The centre opened two and a half years ago, and its reputation has grown steadily with over 50 trainees completing training in that time. Half of all current staff were initially students within the training program.