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SWIM COACHES

The Park Club has an incredible team of swim coaches to ensure young members are given the best possible start in learning to swim, right through to competing in inter-club galas. Whilst your children are learning how to swim with the coaches, you'll be given regular updates on their progress; at the end of every stage, children are awarded a badge and certificate celebrating their success, as well as tips and advice from our top swim trainers.

Our expert swimming coaches offer a dynamic programme designed to teach children confidence and self-reliance as well as encouraging them to improve their fitness through swimming.

Please take a look at the COACHES PROFILES below.

Ashley Belle: Head of Swimming

Each person is different, so to teach each person to swim the same way seems inappropriate. Feel, flow and technique are, in my opinion, more important than fitness, strength and stamina in the pool. I started working at the Park Club in 2001. Since gaining my ASA level 2 instructor's certificate my teaching style has developed and improved.

By giving clear attainable goals learning to swim should be fun. Whether you are training hard for the next Park Club triathlon or simply want to be able to enjoy a relaxed swim in the pool each length should be more enjoyable than the last.

Friday mornings I coach the intermediate adult swim session. Come along for technique tips and training in a fun social environment. I also provide 1-1 tuition for beginners or those with a fear of water.

Richard Manson

Born in Lagos and growing up around Africa, I learnt to swim before I could walk. The youngest of three brothers, I was initially taught by them so as to be the 'Marco', endlessly paddling around with my eyes closed while they fiendishly sat on sun loungers shouting 'Polo'. The pool was our playground and instilled in us a love of the water that remains to this day.

My first official swimming tuition consisted of a leather belt around my stomach attached to a long pole held by the coach, who would walk up and down the poolside preventing me from spending all the time on the bottom. As I improved and grew, swimming became my main sport throughout my schooling, culminating in captaining the swim squad and competing against many established schools and clubs.

I have been teaching swimming at The Park Club for over six years and am pleased to say my approach has evolved from those early teaching methods I endured. To become a good swimmer you need neither brawn nor youth, great athleticism nor impressive endurance. Improvement in swimming depends far more on how effectively you work with the water, focusing on fluent movement and proper technique, as opposed to churning out endless laps of pulling and kicking.

Whether you swim for fitness, relaxation or speed, my personal yet professional approach will give you clear step-by-step progressions that will completely transform how you move through the water - above all enjoying every stroke you take.

Nicola Kelleher

I have been teaching on and off for the past 15 years, fitting it in around my degree in Sport Health, Exercise and Nutrition and then becoming full-time since graduating.

I have worked with a broad spectrum of abilities including three years at a special needs school in North West London.

I have always enjoyed the challenges and rewards that teaching swimming offers. I am always looking to go on new courses to further my knowledge and to offer an ever improving delivery of my lessons.

Alex Fairhurst

Originally from Cornwall, I started competitive swimming at the age of 12. After lots of hard work and some great coaching I competed for my County and then went on to compete in Regional and National competitions.

I bring a wealth of swimming experience to The Park Club after a successful personal career in the pool and more recently as a highly successful coach. I started teaching swimming at my local leisure centre when I was just 16 and have been teaching and coaching ever since.

I moved to London after coaching one of the top swimming clubs in Cornwall and Devon. During my time as coach the club went from 8th in the Cornwall and West Devon League all the way up to the number one position. I am currently an ASA Level 3 swimming coach and believe that there is nothing more satisfying than taking an enthusiastic swimmer and helping them reach their full potential.

Paula Brown

I learnt to swim from an early age and swam for my school, also while travelling around the world I would always find a pool to go for a swim in. I can never remember not swimming.

I have been teaching Swimming for 15 years now, I love the fact you can give somebody a skill that will stay with them for the rest of their life, or as long as they wish to use it.

Here at the Park Club I teach the Parent and Baby classes from the age of 3 months to 5 years. There is something very magical about swimming with your baby. I find you develop a real bond and closeness of trust between the two of you. Your child will move through the water with such easy and be so relaxed it is wonderful to experience. This experience will stay with both of you for the rest of your life.

I work with mother and baby, using the babies natural dive reflex together with the word command “Name Ready Swim,” I then lead to gentle under water swims, by the end of a 12 week course your baby will be happily swimming a short distance under water.

As your child grows in age and strength I then develop other swimming skills such as, kicking, arm pulls, holding on to the side, turning around, falling into the water, bubbles and longer free swims. This starts to develop from around age 1. From age 2 the children really become more independent and real strokes can start to develop as well as floating work, jumping in turn around and swim to the swim, sitting dives longer free swims and much more.

I find an individual approach to each child works very well, as some children take to swimming like “a duck to water” and will give anything a go, others need to be reassured and take things at a slower pace, they will grow to trust their adult and teacher and move forward to love their swimming again forming a very special bond.

The benefits of swimming from such an early age are general good health, building up physical co-ordination and being able to reach milestones earlier, a positive bond between parent and baby. For a lot of children it helps improve eating habits and sleeping patterns, which helps the whole family.

Please come and find me in the pool, to watch a class and see what we do, or have a chat, I am here Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, I look forward to seeing you soon.

Zoe Cusack

Water is such a gift, it can provide us with a real sense of well-being and joy. Fortunately for us we are all blessed with an innate ability to swim and enjoy the water given the right conditions. I have been teaching swimming for nines years now and have specialised in teaching babies and infant aquatic skills. I encourage a love for the water right from the start, developing those natural innate tendencies and ensuring that each child has a respect for the water and that they are water safe.

My teaching has evolved into working with older children and adults now which is really enjoyable. It’s great to develop the stroke techniques and see the children’s little faces when they master the technique and can move through the water fluidly.

My personal qualities when teaching are to take a gentle and fun approach so that I can develop water confidence in each swimmer which I believe is the best foundation to start from.

As a psychology graduate, I am able to transfer my knowledge of child stage development into my role, so not pushing them beyond their capabilities and also paying particular attention to the development of each child’s self-esteem and self-confidence through positive feedback. I also have one years experience of working with children with complex developmental disorders which can be transferred into my teaching.

I have always been very involved in sport and like to try my hand at all types of activities, surfing being the most recent one. I took up swimming as a means of keeping fit when I was 18 years old and I have found it’s the best all over body workout. It work’s cardio, muscle tone and flexibility all in one unlike many other sports. It also gives you a sense of well-being and really helps you sleep well at night.

I am also a qualified exercise to music instructor and Keiser cycling instructor. I have just joined The Park Club team and I’m really excited to start teaching and about getting to meet the members. My other role outside of the club is working for the NHS in Health Promotion.

From Summer Term 2013, which begins in April, I will be teaching Ducklings and Mini Turtles classes on Friday mornings. The age range for these classes is 4mths to 4yrs and full details can be found in the Activities Booklet.

Anthony McGee

Growing up, I had a natural affinity with the water. My mother and two sisters were all swimming teachers so I spent a lot of time in swimming pools. As a result it led me to trying my hand at diving, canoeing and kayaking. I finally settled down at a local swimming club called Brent Dolphins and competed there for four years. It felt as though swimming teaching was a natural progression as it allowed me to work in water environment which I love.

I have very fond memories of my swimming lessons as a child and try to recreate the same great experiences that I had for my students. Having fun, playing games, working hard and then leaving with a sense of accomplishment after swimming lessons is a great feeling.

My approach to teaching is to make lessons fun and enjoyable while maintaining goals of improving technique, fitness and competitive skills. Finding the right balance is paramount to a child’s progression in this sport.

Tom Surey

I’ve been working at The Park Club as a Lifeguard for the last few years and had been looking to moving into swimming teaching for a while.

I was a swimmer with Ealing Swimming Club for 15 years and also used to coach there.

I love the water and get a great sense of achievement from seeing my students develop and improve.

 

Rebecca McCrohan

From the age of 8 I have competed for Ealing swimming club, which led me to become a swimming teacher as I wanted to share my skills with others. I have been teaching at the park club for the past four years private and dual/triple lessons on weekends. I enjoy teaching a variety of levels from non swimmers to those that are more advanced.

I believe swimming is a vital life skill therefore I aim to make my lessons fun and challenging while teaching from the basic aspects including water confidence, ability to float and rotation to advanced stroke specific skills for those that are more experienced, including technique and stamina practice.

The main thing I like to see in all my pupils is Constant progression throughout the term, therefore I tailor each lesson to their specific needs based on individual goals to aid each swimmer to be the best they can be.


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