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Places Leisure swim teacher inspired to support more people into the water following career as Police and Navy diver
A former police diver and detective, Rob Smallcombe has always had a love of the water – and since a career change to become a swim teacher, he is delighted to be able to give back to his local community through his passion for swimming.
Now teaching at Blackwater Leisure Centre in Malden, Rob spent a distinguished career working for the Police Force and Royal Navy. Following his initial retirement, having always loved swimming since a young age, he found himself not quite ready to call time on supporting communities to be more active – and took on the new challenge of swim teaching.
With 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, and is calling on more to consider making a change in their career to prioritise their own wellbeing.
Reflecting on his experience making swimming his passion, and now making a real difference supporting young people to enjoy their time in the water, he said:
“I have always been a swimmer and still swim long distance now – but getting involved in teaching is the best decision I have made. 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.
“When I retired, I thought it made sense to go back into something that I had always been passionate about. 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 are 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’s love for his job is well founded - Swim England research shows 96% 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 with the Institute of Swimming here https://bit.ly/3tSwTDw
Emma was inspired to support young children into the water after experiencing loss that prompted career change.
Alisha was inspired to support young children into the water after getting in trouble and needing to be rescued as a young child.#
If you are interested in becoming a swimming teacher, start your journey with the Institute of Swimming here https://bit.ly/3tSwTDw