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Chris Bateman

Swim School Owner

STA-Swimming Teachers Association

Chris Bateman is an STA-qualified lifeguard trainer and assessor, he began his career as a lifeguard when he was 16 and now, after 18 years in the leisure industry, he runs his own swimming school.
Tell us about your career? My first job was as a lifeguard with Torfaen County Borough Council when I was 16, I then became duty officer at Llantarnam Leisure Centre, Cwmbran. I worked as a duty officer for five years, before becoming the leisure centre manager. While I was working as a duty officer, I qualified as a lifeguard trainer/assessor with the STA. In 2004 I set up my own training business CB Training Services Ltd, which enabled me to run courses alongside my role as centre manager. Since then I’ve trained hundreds of lifeguards all over the country and became a STA tutor for Aquatics, First Aid, Pool Plant and Health & Safety. After nine years In set up my own swim school. Today, we teach more than a thousand children each week and I continue to run numerous STA courses all over the UK. How has the industry changed? It's been amazing to see how much the leisure industry has developed over the years. The most recent example of this is STA's new Pool Lifeguard qualification, which has been developed with the ‘real’ lifeguard in mind, it covers a lot of topics like dealing with customers, cleaning and new technology such as drowning detection equipment. An industry first, the new qualification is valid for three years and enables a more streamlined revalidation process with other qualifications such as 'First Aid at Work'. As a swim school owner, employing over 30 lifeguards, this will save me time and money – it will also be much easier to organise as lifeguards can now renew their First Aid qualifications alongside their Lifeguard qualifications which was previously done separately. Proud moments? There have been so many over the past 18 years but I think setting up my training business and swim school is my proudest achievement. It has developed so much over the years thanks to a fantastic team of staff, and it has enabled me to help thousands of people to gain leisure qualifications and teach thousands of children how to swim. Getting to share my knowledge and experience whilst making learning to swim fun and safe for my learners is very rewarding for me.
Making learning to swim fun and safe for people is very rewarding to me

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