28 May 2024
Midshipmen 4th Class, or plebes
Midshipmen 4th Class, or plebes by U.S. Naval Academy is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

Campaign backed locally to find new swimming teachers

A national campaign has been launched to highlight the vital community value of swimming teachers.

Swim England research has revealed that an estimated 667,000 children across the UK will miss out on lessons due to an instructor shortage.

Wiltshire Council is working with Swim England to support the campaign locally to encourage people to become swimming teachers.

With nationwide water safety a concern heading into the summer months and an expected further influx of people wanting to learn to swim ahead of the Olympics and Paralympics, the leisure and aquatics sector has come together to highlight the essential contribution of swimming teachers in keeping our communities safe, happy and healthy.

In response to the data and as part of the latest ‘Love Swimming’ campaign, Swim England and a collaboration of leisure partners are calling on people to consider the benefits of switching career paths and taking on a more fulfilling profession.

Swim teachers like Wiltshire Council’s Emma Garnett play a vital role in ensuring people who learn to swim find confidence in the water – those with a career in swim teaching themselves also reporting high levels of satisfaction, flexibility and fulfilment.

Emma explained: “In the spring of 2023 I was looking for a complete career change when I decided I might like to become a swimming teacher. I did some brief online research into what qualifications I would need and how long it would take me to get trained up – and that’s when a friend of mine spotted Wiltshire Council’s Recruitment Academy programme. The stars were aligning.

“I believe swimming is an essential life skill, particularly if you live near lakes, rivers or the coast. Swimming is also super beneficial for fitness, to carry you through a long and healthy life, and I think that really needs to be instilled in you from a young age. But it’s never too late to get started!

“Moreover though, swimming is incredibly fun! I love to see the smiles on the faces of swimmers while we’re playing pool games or when they realise they’ve improved a skill or stroke since their last lesson. To see that as a teacher reminds me that I’ve made the right choice in changing to a career that allows my personality to shine through and that makes me feel that I’m playing a positive role in the world.”

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, said, “Swimming is one of the most important life skills that a person can learn and we employ some amazing swimming teachers in our pools across Wiltshire already. However, we are always looking out for more and with our swim schools growing, we are keen to also grow our team to meet the demand.

“A priority in our business plan is provide sporting opportunities and encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles. Alongside this, another important responsibility is safeguarding our residents from harm – participation in swimming lessons is key in doing this. If you’re interested in teaching swimming, we would love to hear from you.”

Swim England business engagement director, Rebecca Cox, added: “This is a hugely important campaign for us and a chance to celebrate the incredible work swimming teachers across the nation do. Being able to swim safely at the beach with your family and friends, or confidently take your children to the local pool is only possible thanks to the amazing support from teachers.

“Our research has shown the need for more swim teachers to ensure everyone has access to lessons, and we can keep everyone safe to enjoy being in the water. We all know that swimming is an essential life skill – but for so many across the nation it is the gateway to creating amazing memories with your family, becoming healthier and happier, and achieving full confidence in the water.

“Our research has also shown this is a really fulfilling career option, with those who teach reporting a higher level of happiness compared to other careers. If you love making a positive difference in your community, this could be the perfect opportunity for you.”

If people are interested in a happier and healthier work environment like Emma’s, they should visit www.jobs.wiltshire.gov.uk for all the latest live swimming teacher vacancies, visit their local swimming pool and speak to the team, or alternatively email the team at swimming@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns