Life­guard on duty

Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm town pool to open for first time in two years

Northern Pen - - Community - BY CHRIS­TINE HENNEBURY SPE­CIAL TO THE NORTH­ERN PEN

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On July 1 the swim­ming pool in Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm will open for the first time in two years, thanks to newly-minted life­guard, Hil­lary Ran­dell.

Ran­dell, who worked for the town in other ca­pac­i­ties for the past two sum­mers, knew that the lack of a life­guard was the only ob­sta­cle to open­ing the pool this year, so she ap­proached the town with an idea.

“I had planned to start the life­guard train­ing on my own, any­way,” Ran­dell said, “But I asked the town if they would pay for the train­ing in ex­change for me com­ing to work at the pool for two sum­mers.”

Mayor Sheila Fitzger­ald says the town was thrilled by Ran­dell’s pro­posal.

“We thought it was a great idea,” Fitzger­ald said. “This is a win-win sit­u­a­tion, for the town, for the chil­dren, and for Hil­lary.”

Fitzger­ald says that, for many fam­i­lies, be­ing at the pool is the high­light of the sum­mer and there are al­ways kids com­ing and go­ing at the pool and the play­ground.

“For some kids, they won’t leave here the whole sum­mer,” the Mayor said. “In the fall, teach­ers will ask what they did dur­ing the sum­mer and they’ll say – ‘I went swim­ming.’”

Ran­dell her­self spent a lot of time at the pool over the years and tak­ing the life­guard course was a nat­u­ral next step for her.

“I did all my lessons in Rod­dick­ton grow­ing up, but when I finished I wasn’t old enough to do life­guard train­ing,” Ran­dell said. “But when I moved St. John’s for school, I fig­ured it was a good op­por­tu­nity.”

Ran­dell, who is work­ing on a sci­ence de­gree at MUN, com­pleted the Bronze Medal­lion and Bronze Cross cour­ses, as well as Stan­dard First Aid, and the Na­tional Life­guard Course at the Aquarena be­tween Jan­uary and April this year.

She is look­ing for­ward to her new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in her home­town.

“It’s a big re­lief to have this job op­por­tu­nity in place,” Ran­dell said. “This is my first time work­ing as a life­guard, but through­out my train­ing, I en­joyed the at­mos­phere and be­ing at the pool. The re­spon­si­bil­ity is ex­cit­ing.”

“I am very grate­ful to the Town of Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm for this op­por­tu­nity,” Ran­dell said, “I am very ap­pre­cia­tive.”

The town is grate­ful to Ran­dell for help­ing to en­sure that the pool can open this year and Fitzger­ald says they are pleased with the out­come of the in­vest­ment in one of their own.

“This is com­mu­nity ca­pac­ity-build­ing,” Fitzger­ald said. “We are so proud that one of our youth went out to gain needed skills and come back to the com­mu­nity and help.

“When you are talk­ing about in­vest­ing in your com­mu­nity — you in­vest in youth. So that’s what we did.”

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