Stephanie's story

From learning to teaching

Stephanie started her swimming lessons journey like a lot of other children at 5 years old, and her story is living proof of how the longer you’re able to stay in lessons, the better. She has since completed all 10 stages of the Learn to Swim programme (the minimum standard set by Swim England is Stage 7!), progressed onto a Rookie Lifeguard course, and is now working towards a career in swim teaching. We asked Stephanie to tell us in her own words about her experience.

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“Being able to swim at a young age has helped me so much with being confident in the water. It has enabled me to do lots of fun water-based activities. For example: canoeing, kayaking, sailing in my Topper and going wild swimming in the river and sea. I would love to water ski and scuba dive in the future.

I have learnt to keep on going even when you feel like you can’t. My teacher used to set us long swims that she knew we could do. They wouldn’t be easy but she thought they were possible for us and I learnt to trust her in that and keep going and achieve amazing things!

For a long time swimming has meant so much to me, and I’ve been wanting to be able to help other people learn how to do it for years. I believe it’s a vital skill to learn in life. I completed my IOS Water Helper course in November 2022, and completed my level 1 teaching assistant course in March 2023.  I learnt about the importance of being safe in the water whilst having lots of fun. Learning to swim is something that anyone can enjoy, including the teachers!  I 100% would love to do my level 2 teaching course as soon as I can and start teaching my own class!

I am really grateful to Lynn for all her hard work, not only teaching me stages 8-10 in swimming, but helping me get started in my teaching career. She has been a huge part in my life, encouraging me, pushing me and helping me to be the best I can. I am grateful to Jacqui for all she has done giving me a job as a water helper and awarding me Swimmer of the year at my local pool. She has been so encouraging and helped me a lot.

I appreciate everything Lesley has done for me, letting me volunteer at her pool, and assist in her lessons. She has now given me a job as a water helper. I am extremely grateful to all the people who have got me where I am today, I couldn’t have done it without them. They are all superb swimming teachers! I’m so thankful to Kirsty, Caroline, Helen, Christie, Robin, Kirsten, Patsey, Lynn and Becky!"

We also asked Stephanie’s mum, Sam, about why swimming lessons were important to her as a parent.

“I think it is important that a child can swim for safety reasons as well as for health and fitness, principally though I love being in water and wanted to pass on that pleasure to my children. Swimming lessons equip children and give them confidence in the water.  They have been a consistent form of exercise for her and Stephanie has enjoyed making friends and progressing through the stages. Latterly she has been working towards becoming a swimming teacher. She has been extremely well supported by her teachers in this.”

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