In this series of blogs we’ll introduce you to the Neptune Team. This week it’s time to meet David Westbrook!
What is your role at Neptune Aquatics?
Most of our customers will have met me at the pool teaching the children how to swim. But behind the scenes I’m busy as the managing director of the company and part of the management team. I started Neptune Aquatics back in 2012 after working in the leisure industry for over 10 years managing leisure centres and running successful swim schools.
What is a typical day like for you?
Part of the reason I love what I do is that there’s no typical day! I might be in the head office in Melksham in the morning, then off to a meeting with one of the pool managers in the afternoon. I like to pick my children up from school as often as I can, but then it’s back to teaching swimming lessons in the evening and at the weekend.
As well as teaching, and heading up the Neptune team, I also sit on a number of national governing bodies. I’m involved in improving and developing training courses for the swimming industry.
Alongside all this I’m also one of the UK’s leading pool plant tutors specialising in hydrotherapy pools. I’m called on to advise companies on build and operation of these pools, which are very different from conventional swimming pools.
Yes, I’m a very busy person!!
What’s the best thing about your job?
One of the best things about the job is seeing children grow and learn. We have some children who’ve been with us since the start of Neptune Aquatics, and seeing how much they’ve achieved with their swimming really is a pleasure.
I’m also really proud of how we’ve turned around the fortunes of the pools which we manage and made sure that they remain open. When we took on the Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool in Chippenham it was under threat of closure. By opening it to the public and running sessions for the whole community (from under 5’s to hydrotherapy) we were able to save the pool from closure. We’re proud that the pool is used by everyone from tiny babies through to retirees, from disabled children through to fitness fanatics!
When you’re not teaching or in the office what do you like to get up to?
Life at Neptune is busy! But when I do have some spare time I’m a huge gamer and love relaxing by playing on my Xbox one or Laptop. My favorite game is Minecraft (yes, I’m a big kid really!) I love playing in my own survival world or on the servers, the best server game is ‘Turf Wars’. The new aquatic update for Minecraft was great as they introduced a range of new aquatic items, including a trident....... which of course is my new favorite item!
How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
I think most of the staff would agree that I am completely bonkers! We have had a lot of questions from swimmers and parents asking if I am really that over the top all the time, the simple answer is YES!!! I was really quiet at school and didn’t really come out of my shell until I started teaching swimming 16 years ago, but then I changed and haven’t looked back since.
If you had a super-power what would it be?
I have always loved this question, fly, become invisible, super strong or super fast? I was once asked if I could breathe underwater, which would make swim teaching so much easier! But I think if I could choose any power at all, it would be the ability to teleport, preferably in a big puff of smoke for added effect!!
Why not say ‘hello’ and ask him about Minecraft or the ability to teleport the next time you spot David poolside!