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In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

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Personal Stories

Read how people just like you have conquered their fear of the water and learned to swim.

Taking the plunge is extremely rewarding. You can use goggles to help and maybe an approaching birthday as an incentive to start. However you start here are some personal stories to help inspire you.


Angela was terrified of water but had become tired of watching her husband and sons go swimming on holiday while she settled for sitting at the side of the pool. She decided enough was enough and signed up for lessons. At 55, Angela was hesitant, but now describes swimming as ‘such a feeling of freedom’.


Barbara had an intense fear of the water after nearly drowning and wasn’t sure she could overcome it. Using goggles to help build her confidence, she stopped associating ‘being underwater’ with fear and starting to enjoy herself. Her transformation in the water has led to Barbara to set up her own swimming school for apprehensive adults.


Denver was a fitness instructor in his 20s but kept his fear of swimming under wraps. On one training session he was surprised to find he had to get in to pool, so he decided to tackle his fear. He surprised himself with how quickly he took to the water and became the most popular Aqua Jogging trainer at his leisure centre in Lewisham!


Mandy had given up on learning to swim after a distressing experience at school, but when her family challenged her to learn before her 50th birthday, she was determined to confront her fears. With lessons, her confidence in the water grew and she was able to celebrate her birthday with a swim in the hotel pool.

Want to share your swimming story and inspire others? Please e-mail webadmin@swimming.org with your story and contact details.