A lifeguard has turned his hand to writing to teach children about perseverance, resilience and being yourself.

Janek Puzon, who works at Blackburn Leisure Centre, wrote his first children’s book, Stuart the Wrestling Seal, during lockdown.

The 41-year-old was inspired by reading books to his own young daughters and thought how proud he would feel to have a book on their shelves that he’d penned himself.

Lancashire Telegraph: Janek Purzon has written a book called Stuart the Wrestling Seal

Mr Puzon worked with his friend Christina Collins, who is a course leader at Blackburn College, on the illustrations, and the book was independently published in August.

It tells the story of Stuart, a seal who dreams of becoming a wrestler, who must overcome the doubters - and an angry meerkat - in order to follow his dreams.

Mr Puzon, from Darwen, said: “I’ve always had a vivid imagination and when I was reading books to my two daughters, I just thought it was something I could do.

“I thought it would be funny to see a seal on land doing wrestling moves.

"There is something for the older generation that grew up with wrestling on British TV in the 80s and 90s, and a lot of younger kids are into wresting these days – it was just a daft idea really, a seal wanting to be a wrester, but it kind of made sense to me.

“My youngest daughter who’s four keeps asking me to read the book to her, she loves it.

"My eldest just looks at it and thinks it’s a bit daft at the moment, but I’m sure in a couple of years she will appreciate what I have done – maybe I’ll get her to read it to me when I am falling asleep.”

Mr Puzon is now thinking of new ideas for Stuart the Wrestling Seal’s adventures and plans to write a sequel.

Lancashire Telegraph: Janek Purzon has written a book called Stuart the Wrestling Seal

Leisure and Fitness Manager at Blackburn Leisure Centre, Ryan Scott, said: “Janek is a great member of the Blackburn Leisure Centre team but we had no idea he was a budding author too.

"We're really proud of him and everything he's achieved so far.

“We're looking forward to reading more of Stuart the Wrestling Seal's adventures.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for leisure and wellbeing, Cllr Damian Talbot, added: "Well done to Janek.

"It’s great to know we’ve got a creative writer among our leisure centre staff.

"I’m sure many of our young swimmers will be encouraged by the message of Stuart the Wrestling Seal to work hard to achieve your dreams – and don’t let the doubters get you down.”

Stuart the Wrestling Seal by Janek Puzon is available on Amazon UK.