Teaching swimming as a teenager has allowed Kelly to build a career in the leisure sector

Kelly, 30, from Derby, won the Institute of Swimming’s #whyiteachcompetition last year and made the most of her years’ worth of free training. Here she shares her swimming teacher journey, and how she maximised her learning.

Kelly says: “Swimming has always been my happy place, and I believe that swimming is in my blood. My daughter, who is just four, is exactly the same as me and is such a water baby. She’s already a confident swimmer and progressing really well in her swimming lessons. I’m so proud of her. Kelly swimming teacher career

“Swimming is my passion, it always chills me out and makes me feel better. Over the years I have taught everyone from two year olds to 82 year olds, and I always love to share my knowledge and watch others progress. It was great to be able to teach an 82 year old gentleman who had never learnt to swim. He wanted a new hobby and quite literally took the plunge and signed up for adult swimming lessons, proving you are never too old to learn a new skill!”

Kelly first qualified as a swimming teacher back in 2009, when she was a just teenager. She says: “I was a competitive swimmer with the Etwall Eagles Swimming Club and I used to help out at their swim lessons. My club encouraged me to get my qualifications and I am glad that I did. My entire career has been based within the leisure sector, starting as a cleaner at my local leisure centre and over the years progressing to swim manager, as well as a being swimming teacher, lifeguard and receptionist.

“I currently have my dream job, working as a swimming teacher at a local school that has aquatics facilities. It’s such a great job because I get to teach so many children a life skill. I much prefer being poolside and with the learners than being stuck behind a desk. Teaching swimming at a school means I also only work term times, giving me the school holidays to spend quality time with my daughter.”

Kelly has recently completed a number of Institute of Swimming courses as part of her prizes including:

She says:

“The Institute of Swimming has such a range of courses and CPD’s that it was difficult to choose which to do. I’ve been teaching for over 10 years now, and it was great to up-skill and to refresh my knowledge. The CPD’s really set my fire burning for swimming again and I’m keen to use the new skills to develop a fuller aquatics programme at the school where I work, offering further progression and disciplines, including water polo.”