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Emma Lewis

National Swimming Development Manager

GLL

Emma Lewis started her career in the leisure industry while she was at university, working as a lifeguard during the summer holidays. She is national swimming development manager at GLL.

Tell us about your career

“I’m lucky enough to work with a national company that just keeps growing, which has provided me with many opportunities to develop and progress my career. I started at GLL 18 years ago as a lifeguard which helped pay the bills while I was at university. Since then I have worked as a swimming teacher, coaching officer, duty manager, swim lead, sports officer and brands service manager. Other roles included aquatics manager for our Tower Hamlets partnership, aquatics programme manager at the London Aquatics Centre, and now as national swimming development manager.”

Why did you want to get into the industry?

“I’ve loved sport - watching, playing and teaching - for as long as I can remember. I started working as a lifeguard when I was a student studying sports development. Working in sport has always appealed to me. I’ve always played team sports and was heavily involved in the Student Union and BUCS managing university sports programmes. I don’t have a competitive swimming background but swimming really enriches my life and improves my mental wellbeing. I was always a keen swimmer; I took lessons as a teenager and completed a number of lifesaving awards. Gaining my teaching qualification was a natural progression. I find teaching very rewarding and my approach has changed as I’ve matured and gained experience. Now I use this knowledge to train teachers and pool managers. ”

What is your favourite part of your job?

“I’m part of a very motivated, sociable and hard-working team. I love working with my colleagues and partners to overcome challenges and develop solutions, then getting to see our vision come to life. I also get to meet some really interesting, and sometimes famous, people. However, nothing is more inspiring than hearing someone talk about how they overcame adversity to learn to swim or how swimming regularly has helped someone through difficult times. Travelling to different pools is a regular part of my work, and I love getting to share my experience with managers and teachers, and discovering new places on work trips.”

Swimming really enriches my life and improves my mental wellbeing

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