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Lee Carnwell

General Manager

Crosby Leisure Centre, Liverpool

Parkwood Leisure

Lee Carnwell started his career as a lifeguard at Biddulph Leisure Centre, Stoke on Trent. He has been in the leisure industry for 22 years, and now works as the general manager at Crosby Leisure Centre in Liverpool.

Tell us about your career

“I started as a casual lifeguard at Biddulph Leisure Centre and after a number of months, I was offered a weekend contract. I continued to work hard and prove myself and quickly progressed to full time hours. I was employed as a lifeguard for four years before being offered the opportunity to train as a relief duty manager. Soon after this, a vacancy for a full time duty manager became available, so I eagerly applied and was successful! During my five years as a duty manager, I completed a distance learning course in Leisure Management by the ISRM. This qualification took four years to complete, which I extended by a further two years in order to advance it to a diploma. After my promotion to centre manager at Biddulph, I continued to push myself for 11 years before applying for the general manager position at Crosby. I was successfully appointed to this role and have been working here for over 18 months.”

Why did you want to get into the industry?

“I was a competitive swimmer from a young age and was familiar with the leisure industry very early on. It seemed only natural to complete my National Pool Lifeguard qualification so that I could get a part time job throughout my college education. I quickly learned that the industry would present a good way to not only earn money, but also make new friends. I worked hard to ensure the centre was kept clean and safe, and was given various responsibilities throughout the centre, including teaching swimming lessons. My career seemed to take off from this point, aided by my enthusiasm to improve both myself and the centre.”

Proud moments

“Last year I was nominated for, and won, Regional Manager of the Year, which was a very proud moment for me. It was a big change to start again somewhere completely new, away from my family, friends and the place I’d worked at for the last 20 years. I’m very proud of the way the staff adapted to a new manager with a different way of doing things.”

I enjoy hearing positive feedback from customers and staff alike

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