Alana Smallbone

Overcoming a lifelong fear

Alana has worked at Haslemere Leisure Centre in a variety of different roles. She currently works in the gym after having trained as a gym instructor, as well as offering personal training and working as a Duty Manager.

Growing up with a lifelong fear of the water, Alana used to have to hold the walls just to walk around the pool to get to the poolside cupboards! She decided to try to overcome her fear by having some one-to-one lessons with one of our wonderful swimming teachers, Helen. After a few weeks of lessons, she can now move around the pool with swimming aids and has ventured all the way to the deep end – you would never know she had such a strong fear of the pool before! As she gains confidence each week and continues to make great progress with swimming, she is able to take on more responsibilities as a fitness instructor. This includes pool testing as part of her Duty Manager tasks and rehabilitation training in the pool with her PT clients.

What’s next for Alana? Once she has mastered the swimming strokes she will continue to swim for pleasure and with her family. One day we hope she will train as a swimming teacher and help all those people who share her fear of water to overcome their fears, just as she has.

Alana’s inspiring story shows that people of any age can lack confidence in the water for a number of reasons. At Places Leisure, we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to learn to swim and we want to do all that we can to bring comfort and safety to that process for everyone – not just children.

If you are interested in joining our swimming lessons, find your local centre and get in touch – our teachers are here to guide you no matter what your age, ability, or confidence level.