This will be an ongoing blog about my swimming and swim coaching. We’ll see how it goes….!!
People always ask me how I got involved in swimming. To be honest, as it’s a relatively short time ago, it’s not too hard to remember.
At school we dabbled in a lot of sports but none to any great extent, particularly as my parents were VERY keen on the more academic side of things, so I didn’t really get much involved in sport until at University. Even then martial arts, aerobics & body building were more ‘my thing’. Until I had children, swimming was just an afterthought. Both my boys were however introduced to the water as early as possible – as we live on an island it only seemed sensible. This meant that although both were mostly taught by myself (with no qualifications) they always did quite well at swimming.
When my eldest was selected to join the Isle of Man swim squad though I soon got a bit bored sitting at the side of the pool night after night and asked if I could help in any way. That led to first of all being handed a stopwatch at the end of a lane on gala nights, and shortly thereafter being asked to help poolside at our local swim club. Figuring that if I was going to help teach children to swim I had probably better learn to swim a bit better I asked my sons stroke development teacher if I could join in the lessons too! At the time there were no local options available for adults to learn to swim, or to get advice on stroke improvement, which is probably why I am doing what I do now.
I was very lucky that the next summer the local Open Water Swim Club reformed in order to re-introduce open water or ‘Bay’ swims to the Isle of Man and I thereby found myself something to train towards. The swims themselves took place in the most beautiful, calm summer conditions and I was therefore totally hooked to this open water swimming malarkey and have been swimming in the sea at least once a week ever since, with no wetsuit for the last year. Although I had swum through the winter without a wetsuit once before, this last time was inspired by signing up for an English Channel relay in September 2012, which we successfully achieved on 9th September last year.
Currently hatching plans for some more epic swims in the next 2-3 years!
Brief swim CV:
October 2009 – started helping with coaching at Southern Isle of Man Amateur Swimming Club.
March 2010 – achieved ASA Level 1 Certificate in Teaching Aquatics.
May/June 2010 – first Open Water swim events.
June 2010 – started teaching Junior swimming lessons and holiday ‘Crash Courses’ at Southern Swimming Pool, Castletown, Isle of Man.
November 2010 – achieved ASA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Aquatics.
April 2011 – initiated and started teaching Adult swimming lessons at Southern Swimming Pool, Castletown, Isle of Man.
June 2011 – competed in Great North 2mile swim (3rd in age group!) / Great North 1 mile swim / Epic Events Derwent 3.8k over 3 consecutive days.
July 2011 – started teaching Junior swimming lessons at Aquapearls private swim school in Douglas, Isle of Man on a relief basis.
November 2011 – following requests from some local triathletes, started coaching ‘Technique’ sessions for triathletes at Southern Swimming Pool, Castletown, Isle of Man.
April 2012 – completed 10k pool swim for Swimathon.
June 2012 – pleased to be able to present medals to a number of my adult swimmers at the Isle of Man Queenie Festival novice open water swim. Awarded Isle of Man Open Water Swimming Club ‘Swimmer of the Year’.
August 2012 – completed BLDSA Derwent Water swim 5.25 miles.
September 2012 – completed English Channel Relay swim (6 woman team) with CS&PF in aid of Spinal charity Aspire.
October 2012 – ASA Swimtastic Outstanding Achievement Award Award granted based on my adult swim teaching scheme and the fundraising done for our successful Channel Relay swim in September 2012.
November 2012 – introduced swimming technique sessions for triathletes and open water swimmers at Western Swimming Pool, Peel, Isle of Man.
January 2013 – started teaching Junior swimming lessons at Aquapearls private swim school in Douglas, Isle of Man on a permanent basis.
March 2013 – Attended Swim Smooth Coaches Education Course at Limerick University.
2013 onwards – currently coaching a small squad of novice triathletes for their first sprint and olympic distance triathlons; also training adviser to five English Channel relay teams for the charity Aspire.