Former police and navy diver says becoming a swim teacher is ‘best decision he has made’

It was only when former police diver and detective Rob Smallcombe retired from the force that he came to the ‘best decision he has made’.

Having always had a love for the water, Rob was keen to utilise his spare time to support communities to be more active.

So he took on the challenge to become a swimming teacher.

Now Rob is teaching youngsters how to be safe and confident in the water – and it’s a choice he doesn’t regret.

“I have always been a swimmer and still swim long distance now – but getting involved in teaching is the best decision I have made,” said Rob, who also enjoyed a distinguished career in the Royal Navy.

“Being able to make a real difference to those learning, whatever their age or ability, is a privilege and I am so enthusiastic about showing that anyone can get better and more confident in the water.”

Thanks to his experience as a diver, Rob knows all too well the importance of being confident in the water

With so many having missed out on swimming lessons due to the pandemic restrictions, Rob has become increasingly passionate about helping support the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Now, he is calling on more to consider making a change in their career to prioritise their own wellbeing and become a swimming teacher – something he says is ‘so fulfilling’.

“When I retired, I thought it made sense to go back into something that I had always been passionate about,” he said.

“There is nothing more fulfilling than helping someone improve their confidence, where before they would feel limited to what they can do in the water.

“You are giving that person the opportunity to experience the full joy of being active through swimming.

“It is great to see more people recognising what being a swim teacher can give you personally, and Swim England is providing fantastic opportunities for people to access the profession and develop themselves in ways they might not have thought possible.

“I cannot understate how important sport and physical activity is, especially for younger people.

“We want to see kids from all backgrounds having the opportunity to learn, and so I am extremely supportive of the drive to get more people into teaching and for them to reap the benefits of the profession.

“It is so fulfilling, and I am delighted to be part of the workforce supporting communities to be more water confident.”

Rob is not the only swimming teacher to love his job.

Swim England research shows 96 per cent of swimming teachers in the UK love their job, and love giving back to the community to support children in developing an essential life skill.

As part of a drive to bring more much needed swim teachers into the workforce, the industry is launching its latest Love Swimming campaign to inspire more people to become swimming teachers and support the nation post-Covid to become healthier, happier, and more physically active.

If like Rob you are keen to reflect on life priorities and the needs of the nation, and are interested in becoming a swimming teacher, start your journey at