Leisure operator GLL is recruiting older people to help save a national shortage of lifeguards. With up to 20 per cent of its lifeguarding roles unﬁlled and around 90 current vacancies, GLL also hopes the initiative will counter common misconceptions around lifeguarding and encourage a wider demographic to apply. “You don’t need to be body beautiful to save lives, nor do you need to be in your teens or twenties,” says Gerry Kendrick, Head of HR Operational Services at GLL.
“Of course a good level of ﬁtness and swimming ability is key, but we currently employ around 40 lifeguards who are in their 50s, 60s and 70s and they are all valued and well respected members of our business.” One example is 74-year-old David Hall from Oxfordshire. With more than 20 years lifeguarding experience, David continues to compete in swimming at an elite level.
In 2013 he was the Great Britain Masters (70-74yrs) national champion in the 100m Butterﬂy and 200m Butterﬂy. To older people considering a lifeguarding role David says: “Get back in the pool! It might seem hard and a big step initially, but once you’re into it, lifeguarding is hugely rewarding, very social and a great way to keep ﬁt.”