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Beatty Park Leisure Centre Coordinator of Aquatics | Board member | Surfer

Every Friday afternoon Jeff Fondacaro used to wonder what the hell he was doing digging trenches as a plumber when his friends would go on and on about what great weeks they’d had as professional lifeguards and lifesavers.

Determined to be as happy as his friends, Jeff quit and got himself a job as a pool lifeguard. Forty-five years later his love affair with water and all things aquatic hasn’t dimmed – and apart from replacing the odd washer at home, he’s never gone back to plumbing.

“I love the variety of the job,” says the coordinator of aquatics at the Beatty Park Leisure Centre. “You have your regulars, whose life story you get to hear and those people who genuinely appreciate what you do for them.”

It’s that ability to help and make the difference that gets Jeff out of bed in the morning.

While pools offer plenty of opportunity to be active, Jeff believes they play a much greater role in people’s wellbeing.

“Yes, people come to the pool to swim and get fit but it’s also a chance for them to get together, have a coffee and even meet people from a variety of different backgrounds.

“That’s the special secret about aquatics – it’s about wellness. I love to hear people say that without this facility or the opportunity to be in the water they might not be alive. The chance to do this activity means something powerful to them. It’s magic that these things happen in my workplace. That keeps me pretty excited.”

With his other hat on as the President of the Leisure Institute of Western Australia Aquatics, Jeff says 85 per cent of their membership is rural based. In those areas, pools are often the social hubs of a town.

Read more about Jeff here.........