For Wendy, swimming is her life. She has been involved in the sport since she was five years old and now, aged 56, she continues to make an impact in aquatics.
“I started swimming with Eastbourne Swimming Club as a child. Fast forward a few decades and I’m still here. I continue to compete in Masters, as well as teaching their Learn to Swim programme, coaching squads, sitting on their committee and, I’m currently the chair of the Swimming Club. Swimming is such a fundamental aspect of my life; it’s my passion. Even now, I still get a buzz from sharing my knowledge and helping others to achieve.”
Wendy currently works at two swim schools – Eastbourne Swimming Club and Hydroschool Swim School. She is self-employed and works a variety of hours, including during school hours, after school, evenings and weekends.
“If you are passionate about helping people, then you are ideally suited to being a swimming teacher. It’s a very rewarding and worthwhile profession, and the job flexibility makes it a good option for someone seeking a part time role or someone looking for a change of careers.
“I first started helping the coach of Eastbourne Swimming Club when I was just 12 years old. Aged 16, the club funded my Level One Assistant Teacher training and when I was 18 I completed my Level Two Swimming Teacher Qualification. Over the years I have completed many CPD’s and diplomas, including courses on Safeguarding, Health and Safety, First Aid and Open Water. These qualifications and training have served me well in my aquatics career and have also been transferrable and beneficial to my previous work as training officer for the NHS.”
Wendy has now undertaken the Swim England Tutor Training Programme, enabling her to train the next generation of swimming teachers. She has just qualified and is looking forward to running Level 1 and 2 courses.
“I wanted to become a tutor because I can honestly say, in my long career, I have never had a bad day of teaching swimming. I’ve never once thought, I don’t want to do this. Every lesson is different and every child or person you teach has their own strengths and weaknesses. I want to share my knowledge with the next generation of swimming teachers to ensure swimming lessons continue to be best they can be. I’ve always tried to impart a passion for the water by making my classes fun, as children learn best through play.
“Swimming teachers must have the skills to listen and to nurture, especially for those that may be nervous or who perhaps have special educational needs. You are their voice and their champion in the pool, and it’s important to cultivate trust and an honest open narrative.
“I’m excited to start this next stage of my aquatics career and I’m committed to making swimming teachers highly skilled and confident in their abilities. My love of swimming was instilled in me by my teachers and coaches, and I just want to pass this on. I want others to feel and experience the same joy from their work.”