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Angela’s story: It is never too late to learn to swim

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Missing out on swimming with her two children as they were growing up, Angela King decided on a holiday with her now grown up boys that enough was enough. She enrolled on an Everyday Swim course and hasn’t looked back since. She has even got to hold hands with Duncan Goodhew (see picture above).

“Just think, a year ago at 54 years of age I couldn’t swim. I was terrified at the thought of going into the water. Now, 12 months on, I have just completed my 200m. It feels like a dream and it is all thanks to Everyday Swim”.

Angela King, 55, is a perfect example of it never being too late to learn to swim. For years she had gone on holiday with her two sons, Andrew and Matthew, and her husband David, and had to settle for sitting on the side of a pool watching them splash about.

Then in August 2008 the family went back to a resort in Derbyshire they hadn’t visited for 15years. Angela thought: “All this time and I still can’t swim. Right, that’s it! When I get back to Suffolk tomorrow I’m going to find out about lessons.”

In the cold light of day she felt a little hesitant, but husband David searched the internet for lessons. He found out about Everyday Swim at the local Hadleigh pool and encouraged Angela to sign up. “Go on, you know you want to do it,” he said.

When she turned up for the first lesson she felt apprehensive. She says: “I felt a bit sick and worried but this soon passed. The instructor Rachel Oxford really put me at ease as did the other people in the class. They were all shapes and sizes and all feeling like me.”

As the lessons progressed she learned to become more confident in the water. At first it was a simple matter of learning she wasn’t going to sink. It soon progressed to using floats to swim a width. “It was amazing, such a feeling of freedom. Here I was swimming,” she says.

Then during the third lesson Olympic gold medal winner Duncan Goodhew turned up to offer support. “We couldn’t believe it. We all held hands in a circle and splashed under the water. He really gave us confidence. And he held my hand!”

When the 10 lessons for £10 offer finished at the pool she continued to sign up for lessons. In fact, from initially being scared of the water, Angela was now becoming a regular swimmer and collecting NPTS certificates along the way.

First she secured the 25m award, then the 50m, then the 100m, until her first anniversary of taking the plunge saw her gain her 200m in late 2009. Angela is overwhelmed by how far she has come.

“When worried first-timers see me swimming and tell me they will never be able to do it, I can reassure them that I was in their position a year ago, and that they will succeed. If I can do it, they can do it.

“I cannot stress enough how good it feels to be able to swim now after all these years. If you are reading and feel as I once did about the water, my advice is just go for it. Fight your fear and sign up for lessons. Everyday Swim changed my life, it could change yours also.”

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