Institute of Swimming signs unique aquatic career pathway partnership with Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) has signed a three-year partnership with the Institute of Swimming to help in its mission to become the world’s leading applied university. The partnership will see the Institute of Swimming enhancing SHU academic programmes through the implementation of Swim England products.

The Institute of Swimming will provide SHU Sports Coaching degree students with training for its SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) qualification and secure the students 30 hours of meaningful work experience, assisting in real swimming lessons, as part of the aquatic programme.

Despite SHU not owning a pool, the partnership with the Institute of Swimming will allow Sheffield Hallam University students to apply theoretical learning in practical skill sessions at local pools, accessed through the Institute of Swimming’s established collaborations with Sheffield’s Swim England National Performance Centre, including SIV’s Olympic Pool – Ponds Forge and the South Yorkshire Swimming Clubs.

Natalie McGuire, Business Development Manager, Institute of Swimming says:

“No pool. No problem! The Institute of Swimming and Swim England have the contacts and the national partnerships to access pools, aquatic providers and work experience opportunities seamlessly.”

Andy Gair, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer, B.Sc. Sport Coaching Undergraduate Course, SHU, says:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Institute of Swimming to assist us in delivering the university’s strategic objective of leading locally and engaging globally. In order to achieve this, Sheffield Hallam University has established strategic partnerships with National Governing Bodies and leading industry partners to provide practical solutions to prepare our students for life after graduation. We are proud that 93 per cent of our graduates are in employment or are in further studies within six months, and we believe this is largely due to the applied and vocational nature of our degree programmes.”

McGuire says:

“The partnership will allow SHU to embed qualifications into University degree programmes, while simultaneously developing opportunities within our local aquatic networks to increase aquatic opportunities for its students and support the development of an aquatic workforce in Sheffield. Sheffield Hallam University has a high percentage of students based locally in South Yorkshire, which means the applied degree programmes reinvest back into the local community. The delivery of the Swim England Swimming Teacher qualifications ensure local aquatic providers will benefit from this training, providing sustainable aquatic career pathways for graduates.”

Hamza Ali, 21, recently graduated from SHU with a 2:1 BSC in Sports Coaching. As part of his degree, Hamza completed the Institute of Swimming’s Level One Swimming Assistant Qualification. Since graduating, Hamza is currently working as a Teaching Assistant at a Primary School in Rotherham, as a leisure centre attendant/assistant swimming teacher and as a coach at a children’s rugby club.

Hamza believes it is the work experience and applied vocational style of Sheffield Hallam University’s courses that have helped him to gain meaningful employment. The applied nature of the degree has also encouraged him to take the next steps in his studies to further continue his career.

Hamza says:

“I have no doubt my degree, in combination with my Institute of Swimming Swim England qualification and work experience, helped secure my current jobs. The Institute of Swimming’s qualification has helped me with my confidence, my ability to manage behaviour, has helped with my voice projection in the classroom and gained me valuable experience of working with children and young people.

I am a teaching assistant in a year five class at a primary school in Sheffield. The school is a challenging environment, with many of the children having English as their second language. I believe the coaching skills I learnt and the practical work experience have helped me to be confident and caring in a sometimes complex teaching landscape. I plan to continue building my sporting and teaching career, and am hoping to complete my Level Two Swimming Teacher qualification next year. I am also looking to study for my PGCE, specialising in sport and fitness.

Gaining my Level Two Swimming Teaching Qualification will allow me to work as a swimming teacher whilst studying for my PGCE and it will also mean I am able to deliver primary school swimming lessons in line with the UK’s National Curriculum once I’ve qualified and gained employment as a primary school teacher.”