Swim England

A nation swimming

Fins are our Swim School Member of the Month

Each month, we will be highlighting the work of Swim School members from around the country and what makes their Swim School successful. Here is the story of May’s Swim School Member of the Month, Fins Swimming Club in Surrey.

Fins prides itself on being driven by the local community.

As a not-for-profit swimming club, their mission is a simple one – ‘to inspire the community to be safe, healthy and love life in the water’.

Fins’ fun and friendly swimming lessons make them an inclusive club, supported by a range of programmes including Rookie Lifeguards, academy swimming, snorkelling, diving and SwimFit.

Club Director, Anna Strong, said: “Our swimming lessons are unique in their structure, having only six swimmers in a class with assistance in the water.

“We’re also one of the few private swimming schools in the country which is an accredited teacher training centre. We achieved this by working closely with Swim England and the Institute of Swimming.

“Membership for the swim school is instrumental in encouraging our enthusiastic teachers to continue their professional development to maintain our high standards.”

Every six months, Fins host a free awards ceremony for all Swim England Learn to Swim programme learners at Stage 4 and above, celebrating their achievements.

It’s proved a great way of keeping the children engaged, as Fins had noticed that some children had been dropping out at Stage 4 and Stage 5 to pursue other interests and sports.

Around 150 children attend each event with their friends and family to receive their award certificates, plus extra trophies and medals.

From Stage 4 through to Stage 10, as well as the Fins Academy competitive swimmers and those achieving their Rookie Lifeguard Awards, every single success is celebrated as the children are presented proudly on stage.

Swim School member of the month logo

Links with local school and mayor raises profile

Fins’ award ceremony is often supported by the Mayor of Surrey Heath, who recognises the influence that Fins have on the local community.

They have made a telling impact through their subsidised lessons for local schools, sensory sessions for children with special needs, bespoke lessons for groups with specific cultural requirements and support of local charities and related organisations.

The most recent awards ceremony was sponsored by Lyndhurst School, allowing funding to be spent on providing all award certificates, medals and trophies, while also providing a basis for both organisations to work together on mutually beneficial projects.

A ‘Special Award’ is funded and presented to recognise a child who has overcome particular challenges or shown great courage, determination and improvement.

Each term, the teachers are given the opportunity to nominate someone they teach and a panel agrees on a deserving recipient.

As well as an award, the winner also receives a commemorative brick, personalised with their name and the date, to add to a growing feature on the changing room walls.

Still going strong

Last year, Fins celebrated its 20th birthday. During this time, the club has received various awards and grown from a small enterprise to a club with around 2,500 members, working with more than 15,000 swimmers.

The awards ceremony is just one of the many marketing ideas which helps to raise the profile of the club locally, whilst keeping children motivated and enthusiastic.

As well as certificates, medals and trophies, the children are also sent home with individual invitations to attend extra classes, or take their passion further by joining their academy which not only improves their swimming but brings in vital additional income to the swim school.

Children with Learn to Swim Awards

Their focus on creating the best learning environment extends to the entire Fins Swimming Club family.

Teachers, staff and swimmers can all engage in a range of activities designed to reward and engage their whole family. From mentoring, work experience, investment in software and training, through to creating a strong social scene.

Swim England want to continue to highlight the excellent work of our Swim Schools members across the country, so if you want to be featured as our Swim School Member of the Month for June, please get in touch.

Photo credit:  Fins Swimming Club