Nancy, 17, gained her SEQ Level 1 Assistant Swimming (teaching) qualification with the Institute of Swimming earlier this year, and is working part-time at Active Nation’s Quays Swimming and Diving Complex, whilst studying for her BTECH in Sport and Coaching at sixth form college.
For Nancy, swimming is her happy place. She has been actively involved in swimming throughout her childhood and into her teenage years, with both her brother and grandmother being swimming teachers too. She says:
“I learnt to swim at a young age and participated in my local swimming club, training up to seven days a week. Swimming has always been fantastic for both my mental and physical health. When I was unhappy at school or stressed with exams, swimming has always been there for me to release tension and as a means of escape. I made friends through my swimming club and my coach, even now, encourages, supports and understands me. At the swimming pool, I never feel judged, it’s always been a safe space.
“Whilst studying for my BTECH it made sense for me to start my training to become a swimming teacher. Not only because I can use the money I earn to help support my mum, who is a single parent, with our household bills, but because I know I want swimming to play a part of my long-term career goals.
“Ultimately, I want to work with children and young people, and would love to work for someone like the school trips and adventure holiday company, PGL. Having a swimming teacher qualification is definitely a bonus, as I’d be able to support the young people even more on their school trips with all the water-based activities.”
Nancy completed her SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) Course during a half term, through a hybrid delivery of online and practical assessment. She plans to get her Level Two Swimming Teacher qualification next year. Nancy says:
“I found the course to be comprehensive, and because I struggle with dyslexia, the online video demonstrations and practical sessions were particularly helpful. It was also great that I could complete it during a school holiday, as my college course work wasn’t impacted, and now I have the time to complete my college work and squeeze in some paid hours poolside. Also, when you do struggle with maths and English, it’s nice that my more practical skills are recognised and valued.
“Since I’ve started working as a Swimming Teacher Assistant I’ve found that my confidence is growing. I feel very safe at the swimming pool. The environment is very friendly and my colleagues are extremely welcoming. I’ve also got to meet lots of different people with different backgrounds to myself, which has been such a positive experience.
“I really couldn’t imagine working anywhere else whilst studying. Not only is it improving my self-confidence, but it’s bringing in some extra money, and in the long-term my swimming teacher qualifications will support my applications for career opportunities.”
Find out more about how to become a swimming teacher.