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Dear Sir!

We always like to hear from you. To make it easier to get in touch we’ve brought some of our popular letters to the editor feature online. Every month we’ll feature one of the letters that appears in Swimming Times magazine online to allow you to have your say and leave comments on issues that relate to you.

If you would like to submit a letter to appear online and in the magazine please email swimmingtimes@swimming.org or send your letter by post to Swimming Times, SportPark, 3 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3QF.

Competent teacher

I have been following the debate regarding the issue of whether a swimming teacher should be a competent swimmer in order to be a successful teacher.

Opinions seem to be polarised as to whether or not the writer was a competitive swimmer or not.

I would not call myself an expert swimmer. Indeed, before I became a teacher, I had a screw-kick on breaststroke and I am still unable to swim butterfly. I am more an adequate swimmer.

However, during my career in teaching aquatics three swimmers who have represented their country have passed through my ‘pre-competition’ classes. Emma Smithurst, Molly Renshaw and Lorna Tonks (who now swims for Australia) all started their club swimming at Ripley in Derbyshire.

I am proud to have played a small part in their swimming development, I am proud of the influence our club has had and, more importantly, I am proud of their success. I am not saying that I was the reason that they succeeded – far from it – but it does show that my lack of competitive swimming did not have a detrimental effect on their swimming careers.

Perhaps the people who say that only swimmers should become teachers should think again as each group has something to offer, providing the basics are taught correctly.

It is more about the ability to teach others what to do in the pool rather than what the teacher has achieved in the pool.

Chris Dening

By email

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