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Lifeguard on duty: Roddickton-Bide Arm town pool to open for first time in two years

Hillary Randell, new lifeguard for the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm.
Hillary Randell, new lifeguard for the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm. - Submitted

RODDICKTON-BIDE ARM, N.L. — Jump on in!

On July 1 the swimming pool in Roddickton-Bide Arm will open for the first time in two years, thanks to newly-minted lifeguard, Hillary Randell.

Randell, who worked for the town in other capacities for the past two summers, knew that the lack of a lifeguard was the only obstacle to opening the pool this year, so she approached the town with an idea.

“I had planned to start the lifeguard training on my own, anyway,” Randell said, “But I asked the town if they would pay for the training in exchange for me coming to work at the pool for two summers.”

Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald says the town was thrilled by Randell’s proposal.

“We thought it was a great idea,” Fitzgerald said. “This is a win-win situation, for the town, for the children, and for Hillary.”

Fitzgerald says that, for many families, being at the pool is the highlight of the summer and there are always kids coming and going at the pool and the playground.

“For some kids, they won’t leave here the whole summer,” the Mayor said. “In the fall, teachers will ask what they did during the summer and they’ll say – ‘I went swimming.’”

Randell herself spent a lot of time at the pool over the years and taking the lifeguard course was a natural next step for her.

“I did all my lessons in Roddickton growing up, but when I finished I wasn’t old enough to do lifeguard training,” Randell said. “But when I moved St. John’s for school, I figured it was a good opportunity.”

Randell, who is working on a science degree at MUN, completed the Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross courses, as well as Standard First Aid, and the National Lifeguard Course at the Aquarena between January and April this year.

She is looking forward to her new responsibilities in her hometown.

“It’s a big relief to have this job opportunity in place,” Randell said. “This is my first time working as a lifeguard, but throughout my training, I enjoyed the atmosphere and being at the pool. The responsibility is exciting.”

“I am very grateful to the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm for this opportunity,” Randell said, “I am very appreciative.”

The town is grateful to Randell for helping to ensure that the pool can open this year and Fitzgerald says they are pleased with the outcome of the investment in one of their own.

“This is community capacity-building,” Fitzgerald said. “We are so proud that one of our youth went out to gain needed skills and come back to the community and help.

“When you are talking about investing in your community — you invest in youth. So that’s what we did.”

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