Kelly Deakin

The swimming lessons you have as a child can determine your enjoyment later on.

Well, it was the same for me. When I was 10 years old, my school took me to the local borstal to teach me how to swim. For two years at primary school, my class piled onto the coach and we drove 15 minutes down the road to the young offenders’ institution.

Before we could get off the coach, a prison guard would count heads, check names and then escort us ‘crocodile’ fashion to the pool at the other side of the campus. I remember walking down the road with tall buildings either side and all the windows had bars – some of them even had arms hanging out. People would gesticulate to us from their cells and shout things we couldn’t understand.

I may not have learnt great swimming technique back then, but I vowed I would absolutely behave myself!

My experience stuck with me and could have easily put me off swimming. Since then I’ve swam for clubs, enjoyed swimming in seas, lakes and rivers. It’s helped me recover from a major operation. I find it’s the best way to relax and let my mind wander as I exercise.

Lizzy, 6

Understanding

Learning to swim is about enjoyment and trust between swimmer and teacher. Over the years I’ve heard many stories from people; being pushed into the water by a well-meaning relative or finding themselves out too deep.

In England, the number of adults who can’t swim is one in five and even more adults would like a chance to improve their strokes.

Sometimes it’s a lack of lessons or the missed opportunities which we regret most.

The first step of learning to swim is confidence in water. That’s where lessons with an experienced, understanding teacher can make all the difference.

…But don’t be fooled!

Building confidence and skills takes time. Everybody is different and I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take. The best way to get a boost? Back up your lessons with regular trips to the pool.

When you can take a breath without swallowing water or when you see your child dive under for the first time… there’s no better feeling of success!

Daniel, 6

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you are interested in swimming lessons but don’t know where to start, contact us for more advice.