Parkwood Leisure extends partnership with Institute of Swimming to develop swimming provision

Parkwood Leisure has renewed its three year partnership with the Institute of Swimming to support the growth and development of its swimming teacher workforce.

Parkwood Leisure is one of the UK’s leading leisure operators, specialising in the development and operation of facilities on behalf of local authorities and manages 50 wet site/pools across the UK. Parkwood Leisure currently teaches 43,000 children and adults to swim through its 7,149 weekly classes and is keen to expand its learn to swim provision countrywide.

Suzanne Gabb, National Aquatic Strategic Lead for Parkwood Leisure. says:

“Parkwood Leisure chose the Institute of Swimming over its competitors due to the quality of its provision, and the continued support they bring to our business. We have ambitious growth plans for our teaching provision, and in order to meet these targets it’s essential we have a partner that can bring a standardised approach to recruiting, training and retaining staff.

“By working with the Institute of Swimming and receiving end to end support, we are confident we can meet our targets and have quality swimming teachers delivering our learn to swim programmes across all of our sites.”

The Institute of Swimming will not only recruit new teachers, providing them with Level One and Two Swim England accredited courses, but has also developed a bespoke conversion seminar for Parkwood Leisure’s workforce, to ensure their swimming teachers have an up to date skillset and are best placed to deliver the Swim England Learn to Swim framework.

Rebecca Cox, Managing Director, Institute of Swimming says:

“It is vital all swimming teachers are the best they can be. A motivated and happy teacher is good for business, good for its pupils and good for the instructor themselves. Ensuring all teachers not only meet but exceed the current professional standard for teaching swimming is a win win solution.”

The Institute of Swimming’s conversion seminar covers numerous elements including: understanding the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme, core aquatic and physical literacy skills, motivational techniques, guidelines for supporting nervous swimmers and special educational needs/disability content to ensure all lessons are inclusive.

In addition, the Institute of Swimming has delivered bespoke training at Parkwood’s Annual Aquatic Coordinator Conference. The conference was held at Whiteland Farm and Sports Ground in Bicester, and all of Parkwood Leisure’s sites were represented by 60 Aquatic Coordinators.

The training seminar focused on Observation and Mentoring CPD techniques to make sure the Parkwood Aquatic Coordinators are able to support teachers poolside to develop their skills further, creating a positive culture of nurturing teacher talent and promoting best practice. The Observation & Mentoring CPD was chosen to equip the coordinators with the knowledge and understanding of how to plan and implement a comprehensive observation programme for their swim teaching team, ensuring quality is at the heart of Parkwood’s swimming lessons. The seminar also explored the key role mentoring plays in supporting the development, motivation and engagement of swimming teachers.

Rebecca Cox concludes:

“Support and knowledge are the basis of this partnership. Swimming lessons remain very popular across Parkwood Leisure sites and we will continue to work together to provide high quality expert swimming teachers, ensuring the leisure centres deliver the best swimming lessons to their community, as both the Institute of Swimming and Parkwood Leisure are committed to water safety and giving everyone the opportunity to learn to swim.”