Victoria, recently took the plunge into a new career as a swimming teacher. Having been a dedicated club swimmer for the Brighton Dolphins and Brighton Swimming Club and a lifelong enthusiast of the sport, her path took a turn as she decided to take a break from her 14-year-long career as an Occupational Therapist in the NHS.
Victoria’s initial exposure to teaching swimming came two decades ago when she obtained her Level 1 Swimming Assistant qualification and taught part-time at her local swimming club whilst her children were younger. However, it wasn’t until later on in life that she decided to complete her Level 2 teaching swimming qualification.
“A friend of mine recently became a swimming teacher and said that there were so many opportunities to teach swimming everywhere and I thought this is something I can do part time whilst I decide what to do, so i booked onto the SEQ Level 2 Teaching Swimming course in Uckfield.. I originally thought I could do this as a fill-in job or side hustle but having completed the course it made me see the available opportunities and I was surprised how well it pays too.”
Victoria is now contemplating a full-fledged career shift into swimming teaching. Her motivation stems from the profound impact she believes she can make in this role. Beyond being a fulfilling endeavour, she sees an opportunity to adapt swimming for different needs and integrate her occupational therapist experience. She is interested in learning further with other courses such as Level 3 in Aquatic Health, coaching swimming or open water swimming.
Being over 50, Victoria initially was worried about connecting with the younger learners on the course who for some were more interested in pursuing swimming teaching as a part-time job or to work in a gap year or teaching abroad with companies such as Camp America.
However she said,
“Participating in the course, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily we connected. As everyone relaxed and grew in confidence the group dynamic flourished as everyone came together to learn and support each other. We all shared a common passion for teaching swimming, which was so lovely to see.
“When I arrived at the course I wasn’t very confident and I hadn’t taught for a long time, or dealt with small children for a while, as my children are now much older. I was feeling stressed and unhappy in my work and felt there wasn’t much hope in changing career direction. But now I feel this has been a real revelation for me and something I can do into my late 60s.
“My tutor was so supportive and really instilled confidence and enthusiasm in me over the course. I feel I have actually had an impact on the children this week. I now feel I can do this.
“I taught one girl this week and she was really great at backstroke, I gave her some teaching points and encouragement and she really progressed. Later that week she joined a swimming club. She came back to the centre and was waving at me so excited to see me to tell me about her club trial. It’s a job where I can make a positive impact on other people and on top of that I feel I am teaching such an important life skill.”
Find out how to become a swimming teacher.