Published Wednesday 26 March 2014 at 12:54
Nathan Hibbert, 21, has been given a career boost thanks to a volunteering scheme at Shadsworth Leisure Centre which has helped him train as a lifeguard and gym instructor.
He now oversees swimming sessions and gym sessions, carries out inductions, gives advice on fitness and strength training and runs his own classes at the leisure centre.
The programme offers 25 hours voluntary work with the possibility of work if the training is successful, and Nathan has now been given a casual contract with the leisure centre of up to 36 hours per week. He had already gained a BTEC in sport and has now also completed NVQ Level 3 in gym instruction and personal training at Blackburn College.
To qualify for the programme, you must be unemployed, live in local area, be prepared to give 25 hours voluntary lifeguarding at Shadsworth Leisure Centre and be capable of passing the NPLQ.
The leisure centre funds training and the qualification, inducts as part of the lifeguard teams and opens up possibility of casual work in any of BWDBC centres. The release NPLQ qualification is awarded upon satisfactorily passing course and delivering 25 hours voluntary work.
Nathan, a former pupil of Our Lady and St John RC College, is now studying for a degree in health and personal training at Blackburn University Centre, and hopes to one day start up his own personal training business. He is also looking into the possibility of a scholarship in America for further training.
He also runs a class at Shadsworth Leisure Centre called Exertion, an advanced circuit training class.
Nathan said: “I have wanted to be a gym instructor since I was 14 years old, it is something I have always been interested in. I’ve really enjoyed the work and training I have had at the leisure centre..
“Everyone has been really helpful and supportive and I hope this is the start of this sort of career for me.”
Cllr Damian Talbot, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Young People, said: “Schemes like this can give fantastic opportunities to young people in the borough and I am thrilled that Nathan has made the most of his training and is now starting a very promising career.”