Cailin Jenkinson taught swimming at Gordon Head Recreation Centre for many years, appreciating the flexible hours that were ideal for balancing classes and studying.

Cailin Jenkinson taught swimming at Gordon Head Recreation Centre for many years, appreciating the flexible hours that were ideal for balancing classes and studying.

Growing up with Saanich Recreation: Rewarding career starts at the pool

Cailin Jenkinson can truly say she grew up with Saanich Recreation.

Today a recreation clerk working in marketing at Saanich Commonwealth Place, Cailin attended Kiddie Capers preschool at SCP, and first made a splash at her neighbourhood pool as a youngster – an experience that would later lead to competitive swimming.

As a student, she taught swimming at Gordon Head Recreation Centre for many years, appreciating the flexible hours that were ideal for balancing classes and studying.

At the same time, working as a swim instructor also fed her appreciation for engaging with her community.

“I love the water and community, and having that personal connection with students is important to me,” Cailin says.

Instructing and lifeguarding also provide rewarding work for anyone wanting to work where they can make a difference.

“To be able to see the impact you can have is really meaningful,” she says.

READ MORE: A splashy new career begins in the pool!

Instructing and lifeguarding also provide rewarding work for anyone wanting to work where they can make a difference.

Instructing and lifeguarding also provide rewarding work for anyone wanting to work where they can make a difference.

As Saanich Recreation encourages applications for swim instructors and lifeguards, Cailin shares her insights as to what makes someone a good candidate to work at the pool. Commitment and adaptability are definitely key, as are leadership skills, she suggests. Those teaching also need to be engaged, especially when in a mentorship role with youth.

To learn more about the accreditation path to work as a swim instructor or lifeguard, click here.

What can you expect in return? In addition to competitive wages – $23.64 hourly plus 13 per cent in lieu of benefits for auxiliary positions – you’ll gain a wealth of life skills and professional development opportunities that offer benefits no matter where your career path takes you.

In addition, because the certifications are provided through the Red Cross and the National Lifeguard program, they’re recognized at pools throughout the region.

Those who already have the required swim instructor or lifeguard accreditations are encouraged to apply today through Saanich.ca, but those interested in working at the pool in the future can also begin the process, with courses typically planned at times that work for students, such as Christmas, Spring and Summer breaks.

A passion for the pool starts here

Of course, it all starts at the pool, and with a love for water, which Cailin happily encourages. Saanich offers a robust aquatics program at both its pools, including lessons for all ages, Waterfit classes, lane swimming and plenty of time for those family fun swims. Prefer to enjoy a leisurely soak in the hot tub? You can do that, too! (Better yet, most of those activities are also included with a Saanich Continuous Access Pass.)

And, Cailin adds, if you’re at the pool and you see a lifeguard or your swim instructor, be sure to say hi!

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