6 April 2018
Young CEO for the Day

Riley takes the chair as YMCA Young CEO

YMCA South Australia CEO Haydn Robins will hand over the chair to 19 year-old Aquadome swim teacher and lifeguard, Riley Giersch, next week after he was announced as the 2018 YMCA Young CEO for the Day.

As part of the leading not-for-profit’s commitment to empowering young people, YMCAs around Australia will be led by young people, aged 18 to 30, on Friday 13 April, marking the beginning of National Youth Week.

Riley attended the Aquadome since his early childhood as an active member of Playford Aquatic Club, before becoming a lifeguard in 2016 and working at Williamstown outdoor pool. He completed his Austswim qualification and started as a swim teacher at the Aquadome eight months ago.

The Gawler teenager has progressed to now teach up to 120 students in 19 lessons a week, as well as lifeguarding and undertaking frontline duties as Swim School Specialist at the centre in Elizabeth.

While his long term goal is to join the police force, Riley is working towards becoming a Duty Manager and Teacher in Charge at the Aquadome, and said the chance to join the Young CEO program was a great opportunity.

“I look at the way (Aquadome managers) do their jobs and want to experience this and learn how to successfully handle many priorities on a daily basis,” he said.

“The chance to experience what it’s like to oversee such a big and diverse organisation from a young person’s point of view is exciting. It’s also an opportunity to learn how to better communicate and handle stress, which are areas I need to work on.”

Mr Robins strongly supported the initiative and said the day would provide Riley with exposure to a broad range of organisational challenges with an opportunity to provide input into strategy and solutions.

“The YMCA believes in the power of inspired young people and this initiative is a great example of our engagement with this belief. We are providing an opportunity to hear and raise awareness of the issues young people are passionate about,” he said.

Riley attended a training day in Melbourne with 14 other successful Young YMCA nominees from across Australia on Friday 23 March, underlining the YMCA’s commitment to empowering young people.

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