We're giving our Learner Pool some TLC!

Meet the man behind the plan…

Daniel May has been a part of the team for almost 10 years now. As well as Duty Manager for the Club he is also responsible for the technical management of the swimming pool facilities, and will be playing a key role in the work to refresh the learner pool.
We caught up with Dan to find out more about the day to day challenges he faces when running the pools, as well as the planning that takes place for such complex projects like the learner pool refurbishment…

So Dan, you’ve been at Potters for an entire decade….
“Yep! I’ve worked for Potters for 10 years now. I was at Great Yarmouth College studying Public Services, and came to Potters Resort as a work experience placement. I loved it, so began working here part time and have worked across a range of different departments such as activities and bars. I then came to Palms and have been here as Duty Manager for 4 years now.
Palms is a great place to work as over the 10 years I’ve managed to build some great friendships with members. It’s good to see the progress they’re all making with their health and fitness goals.”
And as well as being a Duty Manager you also look after the technical running of the pools?

“It’s difficult to balance the management of the pools with being a Duty Manager, but I really enjoy it. I love getting stuck into the nitty gritty behind the scenes stuff!
I have to make sure that everything is working properly, and that the chemicals are maintained to keep the pools safe and clean for everybody who uses them. It can be really complicated with jobs such as cleaning the machine that feeds chlorine into the pool. It’s very intricate and could be dangerous working with such strong chemicals. It takes a lot of concentration.”
Where did you learn so much about pools?

“To be honest I’ve learned everything about swimming pools from my time working here. I’ve had a lot of “on the job” training from people who have been very knowledgeable which has really helped me over the years. I’m naturally quite technically minded, which has come in useful since I just moved into my first house with my partner Emily. She has me doing all sorts of DIY and maintenance!”
Sounds like a difficult job! I hope you give yourself plenty of time to relax?

“There’s no worry of that! We have a dog so we’re often out walking, and we are doing a lot of work on our new house. Otherwise you’ll find me at home watching the football with a beer! At the moment work has been very busy with planning the work we are doing in the learner pool.”
Where do you even start with a project like that?

“It does take a lot of planning as there are a lot of things to consider! We have to look at when is a quiet time for the resort as we want to keep as many facilities open as possible during busy periods like school holidays. We also have to try to fit in with a time that the external company can come in to do the work for us. We have a lot of activities that happen in the learner pool that we need to re-arrange such as the swimming lessons and Aqua Aerobics classes. Once that is all sorted it’s just a case of ensuring all our members know what is happening and when. Everything is organised now, so we’re just waiting to begin the work!”
So what will actually be happening to the pool?

“James and I will work together to drain the pool first. It actually takes a full day (roughly 8 hours) to do this as you have to do it very gradually. There are stories of people draining too quickly and the pool walls caving in! So it’s a delicate job. Once the pool is empty and dry we’ll have an external company come in to carry out some refurbishment work for a couple of days; replace any missing tiles, replace the lights and then re-grout and deep clean the entire pool.
It’ll then take a good couple of weeks for the grouting and new tiles to fully set. Once we’re confident it’s ready to go we’ll start the lengthy process of refilling it. It takes days to do, as again, you have to do it very gradually.
I’m really looking forward to getting the work done as the pool will be a lot fresher for our members and guests, and the new brighter lights will definitely help to improve visibility for swimming.”
The Learner Pool is closed until Monday 30th January, re-opening fully on Tuesday 31st January.
We look forward to hearing your feedback and welcoming you to Palms soon!