Swimming All Stars - Soraya Ahmet

Taking swimming lessons to the next level

We’ve been catching up with one of our Swimmers of the Year, Soraya Ahmet, to find out more about her story and how her swimming lessons have led on to bigger things.

Soraya first started swimming when she was just two months old at baby swimming lessons with her mum. She loved the water from day one but hated floating on her back. As the years went by, she progressed through the stages and moved to a Places Leisure pool where she could swim full lengths.

Soraya’s mum, Monika, always had a passion for swimming and wanted to pass this on to her daughter.

“Swimming is a very important skill to learn and also very healthy exercise for Soraya,” Monika says.

We asked Soraya some quick-fire questions about her thoughts on learning to swim.

What do you love about your swimming lessons?

I like swimming lessons because I have lots of fun and they tell me how to improve my strokes to get better and faster.

What is your favourite activity you do in lessons?

I have two favourite activities, I love racing! I also love racing dives and jumping off the block.

Have you made any new friends at swimming lessons?

Yes, I have made some new friends! But I have also been swimming a lot with my long-time friend. I have met new people and they have been really friendly and kind.

Have you been swimming anywhere else outside of your lessons?

Yes, I do swimming outside my lessons. I swim for the local swimming club to practice for races, and I also go on holiday, where I swim in the sea and dive for shells.

Now you can swim well are there any other water-based activities you would like to try?

I really fancy trying surfing and scuba diving because I love exploring the unknown of the sea and seeing lots of creatures. I’d like to try surfing because it seems really cool.

Your swimming teacher says you are now doing club swimming, how is this different to swimming lessons?

Club swimming is little bit more challenging. You must swim more lengths and we use training tools such as fins, snorkels, kick boards and pull buoys and it’s a bit tiring.

What would you like to achieve in your club swimming?

I would love to win a GOLD medal! Or even swim for the county one day.

Despite swimming with a local club, Soraya continues with weekly swimming lessons at her Places Leisure pool. In December 2021 she was nominated by her swimming teacher, Louise, for our Swimmer of the Year awards. Louise nominated Soraya as in the last year she has gone from strength to strength, progressing rapidly through the stages and growing in confidence to a point that she is now able to swim and compete at the local club.

When asked how she felt about receiving the Swimmer of the Year award Soraya said, “I was so overwhelmed and surprised because I had no idea. It was a miracle, the best moment ever!”

Mum Monika also added, “I was surprised and delighted for Soraya as she worked very hard on her swimming. I was very proud of her achievement.”

We’re looking forward to following Soraya’s progress as she develops and starts competing. Her first race is in a couple of weeks!

If you have been inspired by Soraya’s story and would like to get involved in swimming lessons, please get in touch.