Teaching swimming part-time: A parent’s perspective on the perfect student job

Claire, from Sale in Greater Manchester, supported her 16-year-old daughter Imogen to train to become an Assistant Swimming Teacher. Here, Claire shares with us how this came about, and what it means to both to her and her daughter. Claire says:

“Swimming has been part of our lives since Imogen was little. She enjoyed her swimming lessons as a child and progressed to swimming with the Trafford Metro Club, training with the club several times a week and swimming with the squad at galas.  Swimming has always provided my daughter with a positive lifestyle; it’s a great opportunity to make friends outside of school and, despite the early morning swims, she still loves it.

A few years ago, as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award, she had to volunteer for six months, and it made sense for her to support her swimming club in their training.  Imogen really enjoyed it and ended up volunteering for two years.

“More recently we felt it would be a good idea for her to formalise her volunteering and in December 2023 she completed her SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) qualification with the Institute of Swimming. Since then she has been working for Trafford Metro Swimming Club for a couple of hours every Saturday afternoon. She really looks forward to it!

Having a teenager is always a worrying stage for any parent but Claire feels that swimming, including working for her swimming club, has given Imogen purpose, confidence and autonomy, which she can take through to her adult life.

Claire was impressed with the Swimming Assistant course that Imogen attended. She commented:

“Imogen is obviously a competent swimmer, but gaining the qualification aids her in supporting lessons appropriately. She enjoyed the training, which was a mixture of online learning and two days in person.”

Being a swimming teacher or an assistant swimming teacher is a fantastic job for young people as the hours are during the day, at the weekends or after school, and it’s well paid in comparison to other jobs available to teenagers. Claire continues:

“Whilst studying for her GCSE’s, it’s important that the job works around her school life, and teaching swimming fits this perfectly. She’s also not having to working late at night which is less of a worry for me.

“The job itself has been great for her confidence, and she takes her responsibilities very seriously.  It’s also excellent for her UCAS application forms, as many of the skills she has learnt through delivering lessons are transferable.

“After her GCSE exams this summer she plans to get her lifeguarding and her SEQ Level 2 Teaching Swimming qualification as she wants to continue to work at the swimming pool during her A Levels. She also hopes to be able increase her hours a little more when she is in sixth form, and become a part-time swimming teacher when she’s at university too.

“Personally, I wouldn’t have her working anywhere else. It’s an excellent job for young people, and you don’t need to have a competitive swimming background either.”