Former boss of Sandcastle Waterpark inaugurated into the Waterpark Hall of Fame in America
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John Child, who ran the council-owned Sandcastle Waterpark for 25 years, was inaugurated into the World Waterpark Hall of Fame in New Orleans.
He said afterwards: “It is a very prestigious accolade and a nice way to underline my career.
“It was lovely to be recognised by my peers on an international level after leaving Sandcastle Waterpark, as it was very dear to my heart, as was Blackpool.”
A video shown at the inauguration celebrates John’s career in Blackpool, which is likened to Coney Island in New York.
John left his role in summer 2022 after 25 years in charge of the Sandcastle on South Promenade, which is now operated by Merlin Entertainments on behalf of Blackpool Council.
He had joined the Sandcastle as a lifeguard in June 1986 and over the decades oversaw its transformation from a leisure pool ,which was a drain on council resources, to one of the resort’s most popular visitor destinations and the largest indoor waterpark in the UK.
The changes followed investment in the Sandcastle in the early 2000s of around £4.5m by the council, with the venue now boasting 18 waterslides and features.
John was also known for his commitment to ensuring the waterpark was disabled-friendly and fully inclusive for all customers.
He was also awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours List this year for services to tourism, to people with disabilities and to the community in Blackpool, which he is due to receive at Windsor Castle in January.