During the summer, without the restrictions of school hours, kids often gravitate to the islands’ beaches and pools to cool down. But even the most experienced swimmers can still find the water unpredictable at times.
In an effort to teach kids how to respond to those unpredictable moments in pools and in open water, the Lions Aquatic Centre held Junior Lifeguard Training class last week for 25 youngsters ages 10 to 15.
Ryan Mushin, senior swim instructor at the Lions Aquatic Centre who conducted classes for kids in southern California in the past, came up with the idea.
“The kids have been really responsive and they are all giving 100 percent,” he said. “It is really nice to see.”
To turn the idea into reality Mr. Mushin reached out to the Red Cross for assistance.
Four swim coaches ran the course, which involved team-building exercises and safety instruction, basic safety, and rescue swimming styles such as stroke styles and lap swimming, as well as basic lifesaving techniques.
“They learned how to use their senses, smell, touch, sound [to look out for danger]. How to pull people out of the pool for rescuing, and built some camaraderie while doing it,” said Mr. Mushin.
The Red Cross a provided the training materials for the program, and after the kids completed the course they were given a copy of CPR training information, in case they want to further their lifeguarding skills, Mr. Mushin said.
“I think it gives kids a little bit of knowledge and then if they want to continue getting certified, they can go to the Red Cross,” he said.
“It’s just making kids aware of what’s out there for lifeguarding… It’s always good to have someone trained to help out, especially at the Flowers sea swims,” he added.
Mr. Mushin said the session would also prepare the kids in case there was “ever an emergency on the playground.”