Swimming teachers wanted!

Swim England calls for more people to consider a swimming teacher role

A nationwide shortage of swimming teachers means half a million children are going to miss out on the chance to learn to swim, Swim England has warned.

As the country prepares for a huge summer of sport with a home Commonwealth Games, 84% of swimming pool operators, pool owners and swim schools are unable to meet the demand for swimming lessons due to the lack of teachers.

The nationwide shortage of swimming teachers, which was exasperated by the pandemic, is now at more than 6,200.

Olympic silver medal-winning swimmer Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, who is currently completing her Swim England Qualifications Level 2 Swimming Teaching training, revealed she is still ‘so grateful’ for the fact she began swimming which has given her ‘confidence and life skills.’

O’Connor said: ‘I just completely fell in love with it from such a young age. I never really had a great time at primary school, I remember vividly that I wasn’t very confident as a kid and I don’t really know why.

‘When I started swimming I was just so excited to go after school and I made all these friends that I didn’t have at school.

‘I’d look forward to galas at the weekend and initially it was never my dream to be an Olympic swimmer, I just loved being in the water and competing with my friends.’

Swim England is now reigniting its calls for more people to consider a role in the sector.

The Institute of Swimming, supported by Swim England, have recently introduced recruitment academies to reduce the financial barrier of training; working with pool owners and operators to provide and access to funding.

The academies now offer the chance to train to become a swimming teacher for just £79, with other funding opportunities also available.

Institute of Swimming managing director, Rebecca Cox, said: ‘It is important that we address the nationwide shortage of swimming teachers to prevent a generation missing out on the opportunity to learn to swim.’