As a difficult summer came to an end, and the coronavirus pandemic took hold, LSV’s education, member and leadership development, and training teams proved they were #InThisTogether by creating innovative at home learning opportunities, as well as employment opportunities and closer relationships with industry partners.
“We’ve always led the field in education and training innovations,” says GM Public Training and Pool Safety, Andy Dennis. “But the pandemic has challenged us to move into new areas and I’m incredibly proud of the teams who went outside their comfort zones to create fantastic opportunities for our members, aquatic industry and general public to continue learning and training from home during difficult conditions.”
Some highlights of the new, free, offerings during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, were:
LSV’s PD Series
While many normally busy and active lifesaving members were suddenly with time on their hands and limited opportunities to be in the water training, LSV developed an online personal development series to help members stay connected, engaged and motivated.
The period of isolation provided a unique opportunity for members to stop and take a step back to look at their wider lifesaving careers, personal goals and aspirations for their clubs. Through the PD Series, they were able to learn from an incredible selection of accomplished industry professionals and discover strategies to tackle issues around mental wellbeing, leadership and skills development.
This series was run on Microsoft Teams as a 12-week program with a high calibre of presenters and aimed at complementing our Blue Connections, Female Leadership Network and other member development offerings.
Aquatic, Fitness and Recreation Industry (AFAR) Professional Development Series
In a similar way, our aquatic industry was offered a series of free professional development online webinars four times per week as we partnered with various industry organisations, divided into four service-area streams.
With 90%+ of the aquatic workforce stood down and the $85billion national industry at a standstill, this was a positive step for industry (from all ages) to upskill and prepare for a bigger and better industry post-COVID.
Following on from AFAR’s success in the first lockdown (5,600 webinar participants), the series has how evolved into a once a month session divided into three streams for industry personnel: Safety & Operations, Swimming and Water Safety Education, and Leadership.
Accredited CPR@Home and First Aid@Home
When public face-to-face training was not possible, the LSV training team worked quickly to ensure that industry personnel and members of the public still have the opportunity to maintain lifesaving first aid and CPR qualifications.
The team developed online-only resources for fully accredited CPR and first aid training to be completed from the comfort of a candidate’s home and at their own pace. The training includes completing LSV online learning content, an online theory exam and recording of first aid and CPR treatment scenarios.
Water Safety @ Home
In response to swimming pools and lessons being unavailable during the restrictions period, as well as junior lifesaving program Nippers’ winter training sessions not being possible, a special Water Safety @ Home series was created to fill the gap and keep children learning swimming, water safety, first aid, lifesaving skills and stay connected to club-mates.
There were exclusive Water Safety Watch and Learn videos, Swimming @ Home sessions to keep children’s swimming skills fresh, CPR for Kids and First Aid for Kids to teach important lifesaving skills, and Nippers @ Home featuring volunteer lifesavers extending knowledge for club members as well as offering an insight into the program for children who normally don’t have access and would like to give Nippers a go.
With almost 20,000 views to date of the total 28 sessions, the series continues to be beneficial to the community as schools return to remote learning and swim schools remain shut.
“As well as offering club members, the aquatic industry and the wider public opportunities for learning, these fantastic programs also brought light and purpose to the volunteers and staff who were involved in creating the resources while their usual work was on hold,” says Mr Dennis. “We are proud of the offering, as well as of how our people adapted so quickly in response to unprecedented conditions in our industry.”