Eight years ago, when he was working as a student supervisor, he agreed to take lifeguard training offered by his employer, the Commission scolaire De la Jonquière. “Back then, my knowledge of swimming was fairly limited. I didn’t know any swimming styles. I started out from a basic place!” he says.
However, he quickly learned the job and even discovered he had a passion for swimming: “In the pool, I really feel at home. I feel useful.”
A typical day for an atypical job
Frédéric Marquis works in collaboration with physical education teachers. While they teach students a variety of swimming styles, he monitors their safety and teaches them life-saving techniques. “You need to be attentive to the slightest signs of distress and be ready to come to the rescue at all times,” he adds.
Frédéric Marquis also receives groups of students with disabilities. He has specialized equipment to help them to get into the water. “Every type of disability requires a specific action. My goal is to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have fun and enjoy being in the water.”
A shared passion
Frédéric Marquis also founded swimming clubs that are very popular among the students. “I want to share my passion for the sport with them. It’s a form of life insurance!” He also started a healthy lifestyles club for school board employees in collaboration with the school’s recreational activities technician.
“From 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., teachers, janitors, attendants for handicapped students and many others get together to go swimming.” Visibly pleased, he points out that “many of them are really diligent and are developing healthy lifestyle habits!”