Keiran, 45, retired from HM Armed Forces in 2019 after serving for nearly 25 years as a Communication specialist for the Royal Logistic Corps. On retirement, he and his family moved and bought a home in Worcestershire. For the next couple of years his priority was looking after his ten-year-old son and working on their home, which needed a lot of alterations and improvements.
“It was a conscious decision that I would take a backseat in my career, becoming a stay-at-home dad whilst my wife continued in her career. It was a big shift for me, and although it was wonderful to be at home, when my son was at school the days were quite lonely…our pet dog doesn’t make great conversation!
“After school, I used to take my son to his swimming lessons and watch him in the pool, and I soon got to appreciate the value of a good swimming teacher. I started to think, was it something I could do and I got chatting to the swimming teacher about the possibilities.”
The swimming teacher put Keiran in touch with the leisure centre, who quickly agreed to pay for his SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) qualification with the Institute of Swimming.
“The course was hybrid, with the theory being online and a practical session in person. The course was straightforward, and on completing this I volunteered, shadowing teachers whenever I could, as well as assisting in their lessons. It was great to be able to get this additional experience poolside; the mentorship has made me more confident and I went on to get my Level Two Swimming Teaching qualification in February 2022.
I’m loving life ‘poolside’, it’s a fun job and for me it’s stress free. I get to wear shorts and t-shirts all day, I meet lots of people and also have the interaction with the other adult staff. It’s great to be part of a team. I really wanted a job that provided me with some adult company whilst being flexible around my family commitments. Being a swimming teacher ticks both these boxes.”
Keiran currently works at his local leisure centre, assessing children for the School Swimming lessons. He’s on call to cover other classes and has 1:2:1 customers too.
“Being a swimming teacher really suits my life at the moment. It’s a job that I hadn’t even considered before bringing my child to his lessons as, although I’m a swimmer, I wouldn’t say I was accomplished or have a beautiful stroke. But I learnt through the training that you don’t need to be the best swimmer to be a teacher. It’s more important that you can demonstrate, explain and communicate clearly and make the lessons engaging and interesting. I can also see this is a job where I can take on more or less hours as my family life changes.”
Inspired by Keiran’s journey? Want to start your journey to become a swimming teacher …