The evening before we started the female Pool Lifeguard programme, we were sat talking to Mai, our local project co-ordinator. She was excited about the female Pool Lifeguard programme and she told me that she had a dream that one day every swimming pool in Sudan would have female lifeguards.
Nearly every swimming pool in Khartoum runs women’s sessions. They may only run one or two sessions a week, in the middle of the day, and hardly ever in the evenings or at weekends, but they take place. They are not well attended, partly because of the times that they happen but also because they are not lifeguarded.
Sara Gadala (read our previous blog about her) is Khartoum’s only female swimming coach to have received any lifesaving training, over ten years ago with the American Embassy. She tries to attend as many sessions as she can to act as an unofficial lifeguard. However, there is a limit to how much time she can spend at these sessions.
Today, we took the first step towards making Mai’s dream come true. There were tears of joy from the successful course participants as we welcomed the eight new pool lifeguards, the first female lifeguards in Sudan.