My journey started out in Birmingham. After training one evening my coach asked if i'd like to teach - a seed was planted! Between then and now I have been deliberate in seeking experience in the different sphere's of swimming, with all ages and abilities, from beginner to Olympian. Though my career in swimming was not planned, I can't imagine doing anything else. I have discovered my passion : )
Level 2 Swim England
Teacher/ Head Coach
Perry Beeches SSS Swimming Club
January 2007 - February 2009
Initially teaching ‘Learn to Swim’ I was soon handed the responsibility of age group and senior squads - culminating in my appointment as Head Coach.
Reason for leaving: Whilst on a coaching course I was invited to apply for the position of Northamptonshire County Development coach. A club with an excellent pedigree and at the time home to two European Junior swimmers.
County Development Coach
Northampton Swimming Club
February 2009 - April 2010
NSC is a performance centre into which swimmers from surrounding satellite clubs feed into. As County Development coach I visited these clubs offering support to coaches and to 'identify'
talented 10 to 13 year olds. Those swimmers that showed potential were invited to pick up extra training with the newly formed County Development Squad I was appointed to set up and deliver. Upon reaching a Regional Level they moved along the 'talent pathway' put in place by British Swimming.
Reason for leaving: I wanted a better understanding of the swimmer pathway, from entry (Learn to Swim) up to pre/ early competition. To be poolside teaching is the stage - the answers to my questions were behind the curtain in the office.
Learn to Swim Limited
Learn to Swim Manager
November 2010 - November 2012
Management roles involved ...
Developing and directing a comprehensive program of group and individual swim instruction (800 child group participants).
Engaging with clients and colleagues, listening to any concerns and feedback in relation to the scheduling of lessons (140 scheduled group lessons per week), the instruction given, and the environment provided.
Recruitment, training, and retention of all swim instructors (13 teaching staff)
Delivering lessons myself.
Reason for leaving: I felt compelled to take the next step in my swimming education by working with talented athletes and coaches at a successful elite program. After the 2012 London Olympics I looked to see where the medals came from. Behind America and China, France was third in the swimming medals table. Nine of those medals came from one club, Olympic Nice Natation (ONN)- four individual medallists!
Olympic Nice Natation
January 2013 - August 2015
I had the privilege of working alongside a truly inspirational Head Coach and Olympic athletes. As a team we travelled extensively for competitions and training camps.
Reason for leaving: Where did I want to be? What was I doing to achieve it? My ambition was not to be an Olympic Coach. My decision to leave was based on three reasons;
1) To explore why elite swimming was not representative of society. What are the barriers to 'learning to swim'?
2) Autonomy - The choice in how I respond to a given task and a sense of self determination.
The very nature of an Assistant is to live within and be respectful to a tight remit. I understood this well and I believe it was a huge factor as to why the Head Coach and I worked so well together.
3) The job was in Kenya : )
Kenya School of Swimming
August 2015 - July 2016
A creative tenure that led to steep membership growth and favourable athlete performance. I gained an appreciation of the challenges facing Kenyan Swimming governance, along with a deeper understanding of how culture and environment shape swimming.
Reason for leaving: 1) Difficulty securing a work permit. 2) I love competitive swimming - but 'Learn to Swim' kept calling me back.
Concerning my move to Swimming Nature ...I’d been approached previously during my time at Virgin Active. On my return to the UK I reached out.
November 2016 - July 2020
Swimming Nature is the largest independent provider of swimming tuition in the UK; delivering personally tailored in-water instruction to thousands of children and adults across the country.
My work was varied and provided exposure to all elements of the business. Three main areas of focus were;
1) Teaching swimming.
2) Recruitment, training and induction of new swimming teachers.
3) Understand the the Adult Swimming landscape.
Reason for leaving: I have two dreams - One is to set up a Swim School. COVID-19 gave me a nudge to realise this. Here I am taking the first steps : )