North-east teenagers are being given the chance to learn life-saving skills thanks to a new programme.
Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) is about to start a scheme to give young adults free industry training.
The ASV Aquatics Academy will provide teens who are at secondary school or college with swimming and lifeguard coaching.
The first intake of nine participants from across the north-east will get the programme under way in February.
By the end of it, the participants will hopefully have a number of qualifications, including National Pool Lifeguard, Scottish Swimming Teaching Aquatics, Rookie Lifeguard Instructor and Safeguarding and Protecting Children Course.
Teenagers taking part in the programme said they couldn’t wait to get started.
Lochside Academy pupil Brandon Petrie said it was his school who made him aware of the programme.
The 15-year-old said: “I decided to take the opportunity because from a young age I wanted to do lifeguarding.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and this will give me the social skills to speak to them without hesitating.
“I think some of this will be challenging.”
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Calum MacMillan, 16, who studies at Westhill Academy, said: “I’ve always wanted to be a lifeguard since I was younger.
“I was part of the swimming club and had seen them and thought it would be something good to do when I was older.
“I like doing the physical stuff in the pool, so I’m looking forward to that – I’m doing the swimming coaching too.
“This is a possible job for me and this will give me something to fall back on.”
And Daniel Jolly, 17, from Oldmachar Academy hopes the qualifications will provide a stepping stone into a future career,
He said: “I’m hoping this will be a good experience.
“I thought doing lifeguarding would help me as I’m looking to get a job in sport when I’m older.”
Rebecca Ripley, sports development executive at ASV, said: “The ASV Aquatics Academy has been set up to allow young people who are either at school or college to come along and get qualifications and work experience at the sports village.
“A part of this means we can offer free swimming lessons to children in the local community.
“We have just accepted our first intake of nine youngsters and we are looking for more people to take part in the spring and summer, which will help us to run this programme throughout the year.
“It will give the youngsters the chance to work in this amazing facility with our qualified staff and allow them to gain qualifications.
“This programme will give people life experience and the chance to meet new people as they develop their skills.”
Funding for the project has been provided by The Active Aberdeen Partnership, Aberdeen Harbour Board and Nexon.
Rebecca added: “At the moment we have received funding which will allow us to do two intakes of young people.
“If this is successful, we are hoping we can go out and get more funding to continue it in the future. It is really exciting and it is nice to see we have the young people in and they are keen and ready to go.
“It has been a long time coming and we are glad to be in this position.”
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