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19 July 2021

Smart & Skilled pathways into a career in Aquatics

Training & Development
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Students in year 10 interested in a career in Sports, Recreation and Aquatics but unsure about University now have a fantastic VET pathway - SIS31015 Certificate III in Aquatics and Community Recreation.

This School Based Traineeship combines online learning with on-the-job training that aims to deliver valuable customer service experience, practical industry knowledge and transferable life skills.

Gone are the days where a career in Aquatic was just a stop-gap job whilst finishing University or school. The Aquatics Industry is a rapidly growing, and thoroughly rewarding industry, with career opportunities available to a diverse workforce for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Royal Life Saving recently profiled a few familiar faces in our industry that started out their own careers through Vocational Education and have built successful and rewarding careers. Read their stories:

Scott Vanderheyden:

Area Manager; Belgravia Leisure

Uni isn’t for everyone – I studied I.T. and never used it a day in my life! Instead, I worked as a Casual Lifeguard for my local council pool before becoming a Duty Manager, Operations Coordinator and eventually Centre Manager at Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre. Now I oversee five different venues as an Area Manager and love the ability to impact peoples’ careers while helping them develop and learn! Throughout my time in the sport/aquatics industry I’ve learnt irreplaceable business skills, made lifelong friends, engaged with the community that I love and have had the chance to make a real positive impact on society.

Louise Smalley:

Royal Life Saving Society NSW; Swimming and Safety Coordinator

After finishing school I worked as a Swim teacher, Pool Lifeguard, Customer Service Officer and casual Swim School Supervisor and loved every minute of it! Before undertaking further tertiary study, I was offered a full time Supervisor position and never looked back. I am now the Swimming and Water Safety Coordinator with Royal Life Saving NSW, managing large, swimming and water safety programs throughout NSW. Just as I’ve had the opportunity to work in several roles and learn many transferable skills along the way, the Cert III in Aquatics and Community Recreation is a great launching pad for a career in the sports, fitness and aquatics industry – especially with the availability of debt-free VET qualifications.

Roz Neville:

Manger, Willoughby Leisure Centres

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I left school, but I loved sport and being active, especially water and so it made sense to work as a Swim Teacher / Lifeguard. I was very lucky to have some great mentors along the way and after completing some VET study and industry-based training, I gained the skills, knowledge, and confidence to reach my dream job of being a Facility Manager. I have been fortunate to sit on several Industry Committees throughout my career and I am now able to give back to those working in an Industry that has given me so much. Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life!

Jason Phillips:

Royal Life Saving Society NSW; Regional Manager

After thirty years in the Sports and Recreation industry, despite many changes and innovations, the sector remains essentially the same: we’re dedicated to supporting people’s passions and providing opportunities for everyone to safely participate in a range of aquatic and recreational activities. Nowhere is this more important than in our great regional and coastal towns of NSW that boast some of the best beaches and waterways in the world! After joining this industry as a young employee, I enjoyed fabulous on-the-job training and mentoring, built confidence and practical knowledge, and now have a huge range of friends and colleagues throughout NSW that I love visiting and working with.

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