My eldest daughter joined Lichfield Swimming Club in 1998 and within a couple of weeks I found myself helping on poolside.
Over time my next two children joined the Club too and eventually when my youngest child started her swimming lessons I embarked on my swimming qualifications gaining both my Level 2 Teaching and Level 2 Coaching Certificates.
Teaching jobs have included working within a Health Club, Lichfield District Council and a private Swim School. Volunteer work has been undertaken at the West Midlands Paralympic Squad and Cheslyn Hay Otters Disability Swimming Club. The age range of pupils taught has been from a few months up to the eighties.
Coaching positions were within Lichfield Swimming Club where I was Coach to the Junior Squad and volunteer coaching at Chase Swimming Club.
Since the formation of Lichfield Dolphins in January 2012 most of my time is spent either in teaching, training staff or in administration duties involved in running a busy and rapidly expanding swim school but still do find a bit of time in the week to teach and coach in other locations. I also hold a First Aid Certificate.
My hobbies include swimming (what else!), cycling (a more recent addition), walking (favorite walks are in the Lake District), reading (usually only have time in the school holidays), gardening (all a bit hit and miss as to what grows!) and travelling which is difficult to do with a large family but I managed a trip to China last year to walk the wall for charity, a country I had always longed to visit.
I came to swimming very late indeed. I started my swimming career at Lichfield Swimming Club where I was soon roped in to being the Club Treasurer, then Chair and then just about all the jobs in the club! I guess you just get on and do it when no one else wants to take up the baton.
After a few years of coaching both at the club and more recently for the West Midlands Paralympic Squad it was time to set up our own swim school.
Lichfield Dolphins was born in late 2011 and started trading in January 2012. As business owners we decided to offer a premium service. Having fully qualified teachers, assistants in the water, and a receptionist who was a swim teacher (that is me!), classes of no more than 8, teaching from poolside. All things that make teaching safer and more effective.
In January 2014 we released our own framework which is tightly modelled on the Amateur Swimming Association's Learn to Swim Framework. It really is the only way to teach swimming and the ASA's framework is used in thousands of schools.
My first job was that of an Electronics Engineer in the Royal Air Force where I spent 9 happy years. I then left and became a computer programmer which is what I still do part time as swimming has very much taken over my life. I blame my son, Toby, who swims for Chase Swimming Club. He is a backstroker and in August 2015 swam at National level in the British Championships, quite an achievement. He started at Lichfield and decided it was time to move on when he achieved a West Midlands time. Only 1 or 2 people a year achieve these times at Lichfield.
So, where from here? Well, we would very much like to build our own pool. Maybe one day eh? Anybody got a spare million quid? Answers on a postcard please.
I am a fully qualified ASA Level 2 Swim Teacher and hold a full first aid certificate. I would like to become a qualified coach over the coming few years.
My hobbies are photography, cycling, walking and I have a passion for travelling.
I spent almost a month in China in 2013. This trip satisfied three of my interests. I walked the Great Wall for charity as well as seeing the sights of China. A country I thoroughly recommend visiting and would like to revisit one day to explore more fully.