Summer fun begins this weekend at the Altona Aquatic Centre (AAC), with the pool opening Saturday for the season. Abby Dyck is back for her eighth season as a lifeguard, and her second as head lifeguard.
“I went through the swimming lesson program here at the AAC, and I just kind of continued on,” she reflected when asked how she got into lifeguarding. “I never really planned to be a lifeguard. It just kind of happened. I took the courses, and I kept on enjoying them, and then here I am eight seasons later.”
And that season kicks off with free swimming all day at the pool, including public swim beginning at 12pm. With the forecast looking mainly sunny, and highs in the low 30s, everyone will be looking to beat the heat.
“With it being free swimming on Saturday, I expect it to be very busy, but that's also a great thing for the first day we have new lifeguards we're training,” she shared. “It's always great for them to have an opportunity to shadow when it's busy, so they get to see the whole span of the pool.”
And what does a day in the life of a lifeguard look like?
“Well, it's really dictated by the weather, as most probably know,” Dyck explained. “On a really hot day, we’re outside guarding the pool for a very long time. We take our breaks inside the lifeguard office, where there's always a lifeguard here to help with first aid if needed. To watch kids do their widths for the deep end and the slide. Talk to patrons if they have any questions, help with the front desk, and jump in the pool to cool off on really hot days.”
And would she say that’s the secret to staying cool over the course of the Summer?
“Yeah, it's definitely a challenge, sometimes, but drinking a lot of water every time you come in, and also I like to wear a long sleeve shirt to jump in the water, and then that usually keeps me cool for my whole rotation around until I'm back in the break room.”
Dyck noted all of the community’s favourites are back including public swimming, swimming lessons, newcomer swimming lessons, aqua size and length swim. She noted mermaid classes will also be part of the programming mix this year.
“Everyone's always super excited on the first day, excited to try their widths for the green slide in the deep end,” she said. “I'm just excited to be back.”
You can listen to CFAM Radio 950 Morning Show Co-Host Chris Sumner's conversation with Abby, below.