Name: Mark Smith
Job role: Retired/part time swimming teacher
Course attended: Level 2 Teaching Aquatics
Location of course: London
What is your background, i.e. are you new to aquatics or have you been involved for a number of years?
I am new to aquatics apart from being a (poor) recreational swimmer for too many years to number!
What were your reasons for attending the course?
I got involved by accident really. Since being made redundant from my career in IT I was taking a break from looking for new jobs and took advantage of free swimming sessions at my local pool. During these sessions I saw the teachers working with adults who were learning to swim and recognised the fear in the swimmers. The teacher was so kind and sympathetic with these adults and I thought I could bring my skills to this in a positive way. I sort of jumped into the deep water of teaching!
What did you find most interesting about the course?
Finding out that the mechanics of swimming were more technical than I ever knew. After working in a technical- based industry for many years it was great to apply that perspective to a new job. I could understand the scientific principles behind swimming strokes and so whizzed along nicely.
What part of the course was most beneficial to you?
Learning from the tutor – she showed great skill and compassion with one so ‘elderly’ as me. Also interacting with the younger folk on the course was a great pleasure too. Apart from the course syllabus, of course, I found the whole experience both rewarding and daunting in equal measures.
How will being on the course help you achieve your goals?
My goals have changed since attending these two courses. After being made redundant I was aiming to return to that particular field after a short break, however since moving into swimming teaching I had to revaluate those goals and move the posts. Now I want to work more often with the older person, helping them to overcome their fears and learn to enjoy leisure time with their families.
Has anything you have learned changed the way you work?
I’ve moved from machines to people. Just as complex but a whole lot more rewarding.
What advice would you give to those considering a UKCC course?
Go and watch people working at swimming teaching, ask them about their course and then head straight to your nearest course. Don’t give it too many second thoughts.
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