STA’s CEO, Dave Candler was recently invited onto the Love Your Career Podcast, and during the 45-minute interview, he shared his passion for the aquatics industry and spoke openly about WHY he loves his job.
As someone who has worked at the ‘coalface’ in leisure from a young age, as a lifeguard, swimming teacher, tutor, and manager of what was the UK’s largest swim school provider at the time, Dave also shares his honest, personal views about the current swimming teacher and lifeguard shortages, and WHY he is committed as STA’s CEO to do everything he can with his team to support the industry, with examples like STAnd Up for Swimming and STARLIGHT cited – with his underlying ‘WHY’ being because he wants everyone to have the opportunity to learn how to swim.
Listen in and you will understand WHY Dave was named one of the “Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2021” and received ukactive’s Outstanding Leadership Award in 2021 for his dogged determination (motivated by his real-life experiences and relentless passion for aquatics) to cut through all the barriers and make an impactful, real difference, as evidenced by all the support STA provided during the pandemic to help the aquatics industry. Despite being an organisation that receives no government funding, STA’s support hasn’t stopped there either because Dave continues to listen and understands, and more importantly, proactively responds (you only need to look at his socials!).
There are so many examples, large and small, that have made a massive difference; in addition to the free teacher training programmes mentioned in the podcast, other key initiatives in 2023 included the launch of Jobs for Leisure, a free-to-use jobs board for all leisure employers, and STA freezing membership and course costs once again, for the twelfth year in a row in response to the cost of living crisis. Plus just this week on the 15th of January, STA launched its new charity campaign for 2024, called CommUNITY STArters, which is aimed at directly supporting not-for-profit organisations and groups; to help them start or boost a community-based grassroots swimming project in 2024.