Published on January 17th, 2020 | by TLV News0
Chandler looking forward to leading Oxford City Pool
When Jamie Chandler was presented with a challenge in life, she turned a hurdle into a long-term solution.
Five years ago, Chandler lost her job at a company that was downsizing. Her mother stopped in to see her and suggested she apply to become a lifeguard at the YMCA. Chandler went through the class, thought becoming a lifeguard was a lot of fun, and then she realized she loved it enough to pursue a career working with pools and aquatics.
Chandler turned in her role as a lifeguard in Olive Branch into a role as a head swimming instructor.
“Through my years, I increased my knowledge on what I could do and what I could train and here I am,” said Chandler, who was approved by the Oxford Park Commission board on January 8 to be in charge of the Oxford City Pool.
Chandler ended up being in charge of one outdoor pool, two indoor pools as well as a sauna and steam room in the aquatics area of the YMCA in Olive Branch prior to her arrival in Oxford. She chose to pursue the move because of the growth potential associated with the Oxford Park Commission.
“I think this will allow me to move further up within the aquatics industry,” said Chandler, who is an Ole Miss fan that has routinely attended Rebel football games. “I saw the potential to do more here.”
Prior to being hired, Chandler was aware that Oxford has the only municipal pool for residents to use in all the counties that touch Lafayette.
“I think it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it’s a rewarding work,” Chandler said. “It’s rewarding to see kids learn how to swim and kids improve their time swimming laps for the swim team. It’s rewarding to see your older generation get in there and be active.”
OPC Executive Director Seth Gaines was very excited to bring Chandler on board to lead the aquatics program.
“Jamie brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience with her to Oxford. Her past is something we can lean on as we move forward to bringing a new facility to Oxford,” Gaines said. “Her experience with indoor pools and outdoor pools, spas, saunas, anything that may fit into an aquatics facility that the city looks at and ultimately decides on. She has the many qualifications we were looking at. She is a certified pool operator and will be attending the Association of Aquatics Professionals here soon to further educate her on what’s going on with pools. We want to provide her every resource possible to continue her education and her management of the pool. We kept the job open a while to find the right person for this job and we absolutely found the right person to lead our pool.”
The city pool will open the Memorial Day weekend, and Chandler spent her first week getting acclimated to her new position while also preparing for the grand opening.
“There isn’t an age you can’t serve or accommodate with a pool, so you have to be welcoming, especially for a community. You want them to be there and able to utilize the space,” Chandler said. “You’re going to blink and Memorial Day will be here. I’m going to spend the next few weeks learning people and what was done in the past, seeing how things were done and see what we need to keep or change and just go from there. I’m excited about meeting everyone and making it a great summer.”
When Chandler isn’t working on pools, she likes to be outdoors hunting and fishing. She also enjoys photography and spending time with her family, which includes three children ages 23, 21 and 20.
“They kept me busy. They were in sports and we were going from football to softball to cheering to soccer and whatever else we could fit in, and I loved every minute of it,” Chandler said.
by John Davis – Oxford Park Commission