Sidmouth’s youngsters leading way on national lifeguard scheme

PUBLISHED: 11:40 14 August 2016

Dave Manley and graduate lifeguards of Sidmouth life saving club. shs 30-16TI  4663. Picture: Terry Ife

Dave Manley and graduate lifeguards of Sidmouth life saving club. shs 30-16TI 4663. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Youngsters aspiring to keep the coastline safe have won the praise of the national scheme’s leader.

Twenty members of Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club (SSLC), aged 14 to 16, have signed up to be graduate lifeguards – more than any other group in the UK.

The programme will teach them beach knowledge and practical lifeguard skills, which they can then share with schools and other youth groups.

Mark Turner, its lead at Surf Lifesaving GB, said: “Having recently visited Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club, I was impressed with the organisation, volunteers and, of course, the graduates, who are showing tremendous potential to be outstanding lifeguards.

“Sidmouth has the largest number of young club members working on the programme of any club in Great Britain.

“Their attitude and performance highlights the hard work, skill, knowledge and experience of their trainers and coaches.”

SSLC chairman Dave Manley hopes it could pave the way for lifeguards on Sidmouth’s beach.

He said: “This new national programme helps provide structure to our training session and provides a framework to help these young men and women attain lifeguard qualifications.

“They may end up working as lifeguards on beaches in the South West or use the qualification as a way to gain other employment or secure places in higher education.”

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