Q&A with Kids Activity Leader, Sarah Downs

17 Jun 2021

Swimming is a wonderful sport which is not only fun but also a fantastic way of keeping fit. Whether you’re looking to cool off in one of our pools or practise lengths and build endurance, swimming really is a sport for all abilities and ages. 

At Mark Warner, we’re all about fun, but we’re also here to help you make the right decisions about water safety, and ready to assist should you require it. Saturday 12th – Saturday 19th June 2021 marks Drowning Prevention Week and what better way of highlighting this critical lifeskill than interviewing one of our very own team members about her experiences. 

Sarah Downs, started working at Mark Warner three years ago and has worked in Paleros Beach Resort, Lemnos Beach Resort. Sarah recently joined a Zoom call with a very important VIP after being awarded the Russel Commonwealth Medal for her bravery and quick thinking in saving a young boy’s life whilst in the pool in 2019.


Q. What got you into swimming?

A. From about the age of nine I swam for a competitive swimming club (Exeter City), I did this until about 16 and competed in multiple high level competitions for the club. I am now training to be a swim teacher so I am still involved with the sport.

Q. Why did you decide to work for Mark Warner?

A. After being on multiple MW holidays as a child and recently in 2019, I decided I wanted to be a seasonnaire in my gap year before university. I got fully set on the idea after speaking to George, the manager from Lemnos Beach Resort. I’m a Kids Activity Leader and absolutely adored my time at Paleros, but really looking forward to joining the Levante team this year. 

Q. Tell us a little bit about your award and how you came to receive it from the Queen…

A. In May 2018, whilst lifeguarding a kids club in Exeter, a child had a silent fit in the pool and drowned. I rescued and resuscitated the boy, saving his life. I got nominated for and won the 2019 Russel Commonwealth Medal, however I couldn’t attend the medal ceremony as I was out on season in Paleros at the time. Due to covid, I had to have the ceremony online and as it was the 80th anniversary of the Queen completing her young lifesavers award I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a call with her so I could tell her about my award.

Q. If you could pass on one safety tip, what would it be? 

A. Don’t go out of your depth, have fun, but be safe at the same time.

Q. Do you think it’s important for everyone to learn to swim? Can you learn on a MW holiday?

A. YES!! I think learning the safety aspects of swimming is extremely important. You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer, but knowing enough to be confident in the water can help you throughout life.

Q. What are you looking forward to the most about the season ahead?

A. Going abroad! I miss it so much, I think everyone’s ready for a bit of sun and heat.