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Personal Stories: Teaching

These teachers and coaches tell us what they love about their swimming jobs and how they got started. We hope you are inspired to join them.

Dave McNulty

David has been part of the British Swimming team staff for many years and has coached at two Olympic Games.

During London 2012 his swimmer Michael Jamieson secured silver in the 200m breaststroke.

But he didn't just jump to his position of top level coach. He started part-time and worked his way up.

In the video left he explains his career progression, his passion for the job, and why others should follow his lead.

Sarah Slowgrove

Sarah started out by helping at her local club in Colchester and then taught in leisure centres and a private swim school. 

Start training as a swimming teacher or coach today. Learn more about Level 1 and Level 2 courses with the IoS here.Now a Sports Lecturer at Colchester Institute, Sarah is training to become an ASA Tutor.

“There is definitely a feel-good factor in knowing that you’re part of the revolution to professionalise the industry and I’ll be part of the build up to 2012 by educating a new generation of teachers. 

"As a sportsperson I feel it’s so important to promote the sport by getting more young people involved and then providing them with professional and well-trained teachers.”

Sue Rayment

Sue is a well-respected swimming teacher and coach and is a dedicated advocate of the sport. She said of her role as a teacher and coach at Hart Swimming Club in Hampshire:

“I enjoy everything about it! At the moment I spend up to 20 hours a week teaching and coaching – which I absolutely love.

I am passionate about swimming and consider it a privilege to be able to teach adults and children to swim. 

"It’s a wonderful feeling when a child first learns to swim and just brilliant when that child goes on to swim competitively.”

Simone Benhayon

Simone is manager of the swim scheme at Frome Leisure Centre in Somerset, and her teaching style and fun approach has made a big impact on the number of pupils attending lessons each week – the centre has more than doubled the number of pupils it teaches.

"My teaching style is very playful; I love having fun with the kids, I feel that’s how they develop best. It’s important to me to make sure the kids are enjoying themselves in the pool whilst they are learning. 

"Meeting people is the best part about my job, and seeing the smile on someone’s face when they achieve something, whether they are 3 or in their 70s, is really rewarding."

Pauline Spinks

Pauline joined Silverdale Swim School in Bexhill as a helper and skills demonstrator and it wasn’t long before she became a fully-fledged swimming teacher, gaining her ASA Level 1 then Level 2 qualification.

She works part-time as a dental receptionist and manages to see around 200 pupils in the water every week. She teaches four sessions and works with children from all abilities.

“Watching children as they develop from complete beginners is so rewarding. It’s particularly satisfying to watch the really clingy children – the ones that won’t take their arms from around their mum’s legs - develop. When they are confident enough to get in the water, that is when I know I have done a good job.”

Tracie Jack

Tracie heads a team of 30 swimming instructors teaching 800 pupils a week in eight London and home counties pools. Her Swim-With-Me school is the ASA’s Swim School of the Year.

With no swimming background she trained as a spotter for her children’s club, then soon passed her Level 1 and Level 2 teaching qualifications and began working with a local swimming club and the local council.

The high ratio of teachers to pupils at the swim school means that children are able to get to know their instructors well. Each child receives lots of care and attention.

“We want to make it fun for the children, that’s the best way for them to learn,” said Tracie.

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