Teen lifeguard from Leeds is youngest at the Commonwealth Games

A teenage Leeds lifeguard says she has struck gold after becoming the youngest pool attendant at the Commonwealth Games.
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Lily Firm from Cross Gates is just 16 and was handpicked by officials to help keep the athletes safe in the newly-built pool in Birmingham.

The sporty youngster, who is a keen kayaker and swimmer, already works as a lifeguard at John Smeaton School and Fearnville Leisure Centre.

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After an email was sent out asking for volunteers for the games, she applied and received the news that had been chosen about two months ago.

Lily Firm is working as a lifeguard at the Commonwealth Games.Lily Firm is working as a lifeguard at the Commonwealth Games.
Lily Firm is working as a lifeguard at the Commonwealth Games.

Lily, who has just completed her GCSEs at Temple Moor High School, said: "It's really exciting, I'm the youngest there.

"I really wasn't expecting it, but I feel quite lucky to be honest because a lot of people applied for it.

"It must have been fate to get chosen.

"I've got the best seat to all the events, I'm a swimmer myself and I grew up watching all of these really inspirational people, so to watch them race and even in training is brilliant.

"I got to see Adam Peaty race which was amazing."

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Lily, who won the Royal Life Saving Society's (RLSS) young lifesaver of the year in 2020 for helping an injured elderly man, is staying at her aunt's home in Birmingham during the games.

She has to be at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which was built specially for the event, at 6.30am each day.

There are around 60 lifeguards in total, and all of them have had to undergo weeks of intense training, including rescue scenarios in the five-metre-deep diving pool.

Her mum Amanda said: "I'm immensely proud of her for doing this, and proud of who she is, she never gives up."

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While Lily intends to stay on at her school's sixth-form college this September, she is keeping her options open for her career, although lifeguarding is one possibility.

She said: "I honestly don't know what I want to do but I have so many ideas.

"I do a lot of lifesaving sport (a World Games discipline contested by lifeguards) but I'd really love to lifeguard on a beach in Australia."