Interview by Stephen Lacey
If you’re searching for lifeguard Dean ‘Deano’ Gladstone and his son Angus, the first place to look is the famous Sydney surf at Bondi. The duo can often be found surfing the waves together.
Deano Gladstone, 41, has been a lifeguard since 2000, and is a star of the hit TV series Bondi Rescue, as well as being a personal fitness instructor and yoga practitioner. He spends lots of time in the water with 5-year-old Angus, his son.
Deano: “I was at his birth and very excited to have a little boy. Actually, Gus was a big baby: four kilograms. He’s a good kid, but he’s energetic, and spirited. He’s generally in a good mood, the happiest, most easy-go-lucky one. He has a very cheeky smile. He’s had that from when he was born. He’s skinny with no arse, has a short attention span, and blonde curly hair. He’s exactly like me.
And he’s good in the ocean. Actually his older sister, Lucy was better in the ocean than he was, but he swam six months earlier than she did; at two-and-a-half. He doesn’t really listen too much to his swimming coach. He seems to play under the water a lot of the time, but he enjoys it, and that’s what matters. And that he can survive.
Do I want to see him become a lifeguard? You can have the talent, but if you don’t have the drive you aren’t going to succeed. I’d love to see him follow in my footsteps, if that’s what he wants to do. It’s really challenging being a parent knowing where to direct the kids and their energy; there’s so much opportunity for them these days.
Gus surfs with me on the front of the board. He can already stand up. He likes the big waves. We really enjoy it together. We’ve surfed together in Bali and Hawaii, and of course at home at Bondi.
We also do a little bit of yoga together; AcroYoga in the park. AcroYoga is where you have a partner and you balance each other….acrobatics and yoga. He doesn’t stick at it for very long because he’s got a short concentration span and he wanders off and plays, but it’s beautiful. I love it when he plays. As long as the kids are happy, I’m happy.
He loves watching his iPad. I’m not against him watching it for up to an hour on some days, but it does change his behaviour. I suppose it’s about finding that balance.
I want him to achieve his goals in life, as long as he’s happy and active. I feed him a fairly healthy diet; he already understands about sugar and gluten. I want him to swim and be super confident in the ocean. He’ll definitely be forced to do a lot of that until he’s 12 or 13. After that age you lose a bit of control and they just need your support to make their own decisions.
“As long as the kids are happy, I’m happy.”
ANGUS: “It’s good seeing Dad on the tele. I really like watching him. I’m proud of him. Some of my school friends watch him too. I’ve never been on Bondi Rescue. I’m not old enough.
I’d like to swim as fast as him one day. I like surfing, but I like watching my iPad more. Daddy gives me an ice-cream if I catch six waves. It’s a bit scary on the board.
I want to be a lifeguard like my Dad when I grow up. Or a toy seller. Or an accountant like Mummy.
I love that my Dad gives me chocolate. And vegetables!
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