SPN (Swimming Pool News) December 2021

Page 14

PEOPLE NEWS

Sharron Davies Has A Vision For A New Generation Of Leisure Spaces

Olympian, Sharron Davies, has joined forces with Paragon Structures to bring affordable, accessible and sustainable sports and leisure facilities to communities across the UK to make a real difference to the nation’s mental and physical health. Passionate about health and fitness, the former Olympic swimmer said environmentally friendly and fit-forpurpose sports and recreation facilities are key to tackling the rising levels of obesity and inactivity in the UK. Becoming an ambassador and shareholder in Paragon, who are specialist providers of insulated tensioned membrane buildings, marks a turning point in Sharron’s career. “I love what I do, but I now want to be involved in something that has more impact and leaves a lasting legacy. And I can’t think of anything more important than helping to get people more active and healthy,” she said. Sharron advised she wants to work with local authorities, schools and sports clubs, colleges and universities to open their eyes to the benefits of modern buildings so they can more easily develop the multi-purpose facilities the UK so desperately needs. “It’s time to think differently about

how we build health and fitness spaces. Great facilities don’t have to take two years to construct and they don’t need to be so expensive. Modern tensioned membrane structures like those from Paragon are both beautiful and fantastic quality. We can significantly reduce the total build programme and they are up to 40% cheaper too. They’ve proved very successful in the US, Canada and Europe, so it’s time we benefitted from them here in the UK.” Paragon Structures 01225 618188 www.paragonstructures.com

RLSS UK Launches Bespoke Qualification For Swim Schools A new health and safety qualification for swim school owners and operators has been launched as the sector continues to experience unprecedented demand following the easing of lockdown restrictions. Developed by leading health and safety and swimming pool experts, the RLSS UK Swim School Health & Safety Award is designed to help swim school owners understand their legal duty regarding health and safety to ensure the safety of children, parents and employees as their business develops. The training is tailored specifically to the swim school environment and gives participants a thorough understanding of how to run a safe and successful swim school. The course shares the experiences of other swim school owners, best practices, and lessons learnt from previous health and safety issues in the sector. Crucially, it also includes basic pool plant knowledge, HR policies and procedures and highlights the implications of failing to have robust systems in place. Jo Talbot, RLSS UK Director, said: “Swim schools have never been so busy; health and safety must remain a priority for businesses as they service the extraordinary demand for swimming lessons. There are a lot of generic health and safety qualifications in circulation but, our new award has been developed in direct response to calls from swim schools and therefore is bespoke to their needs and responsibilities to give them peace of mind.” The flexible training is delivered online, over 18 hours, and in varied formats to suit the demands of a swim school. RLSS UK 0300 323 0096 www.rlss.org.uk

Puddle Ducks Franchisee Wins Top Business Award Victoria Rowley, franchisee for children’s swimming business Puddle Ducks, has taken home the Resilient Riser award at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards 2021. 2021 marks the 32nd year of this leading bfa HSBC franchising award, a flagship event for the UK franchising industry. The glittering event took place on 30 November at The Vox in Birmingham, where the UK’s best franchisors and franchisees were celebrated. The Resilient Riser category represents the strength and resilience of franchisees as business owners throughout one of the most challenging periods. Victoria battled it out

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against a record number of entries to secure the accolade for her strength in overcoming personal difficulties while managing the challenges of the pandemic. High praise was also given to how Victoria supported the Puddle Ducks team’s mental wellbeing as well as how she organised local pool training

to create more work opportunities. Commenting on the award win, Victoria said: “Puddle Ducks is really special to me as it’s been a much-needed lifeline for not just myself but also the many families the Puddle Ducks team help every day. The past year has certainly come with its challenges but I’m so proud of the whole team for how we’ve been able to adapt and grow. We’ve managed to weather the storm and provide families with even higher levels of care and support when they need it most. “It’s an amazing feeling to be recognised for all our hard work so this award win is a very special one for us.”

www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk 10/12/2021 13:01