May 2021 – Time to reflect.

17th May 2021 - 6 minutes read
© Angelfish Swimmers

As a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic and the forced closure of pools, I have had a lot of time to reflect!

Last year we had planned to celebrate 10 years of Angelfish Swimmers. Sadly, this was not possible so instead, and until we can gather together to celebrate this milestone, here are some thoughts on the last 10 (plus) years!

Why did I decide to set up my own swim school ten (plus) years ago?

It was mainly down to my frustration at not being able to find swimming lessons that worked for my three-year old son, Dylan, or for me.

Having attended Adult and Infant lessons since he was 3 months old, I wanted Dylan to learn swimming technique and water safety, but in a fun and relaxed environment. He loved being in a class with other children, but I knew given his age and level of concentration, the class needed to be small enough to maintain a good pace to keep a 3 year old engaged.

As Dylan’s mum, I still wanted to be part of the experience, even if I wasn’t with him in the water. I wanted to be close enough to the pool that I could share his progress; clearly see and hear the lesson and be able to get to know the teacher.

I felt sure that it wasn’t just me, that there were other, equally passionate people looking for the kind of lessons that just weren’t available for preschoolers in Bath at the time.

So, I decided to do something about it and Angelfish Swimmers was born!

What have I learnt in the last ten years?

The last ten years have shown me that (thankfully) I definitely wasn’t alone in wanting high quality tuition, small class sizes with a focus on meeting individual needs. I have also come to realise what a positive difference this kind of approach makes. Every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim, whatever their individual needs, and I take huge joy in providing an inclusive setting together with tuition tailored to each individual, so that all our
swimmers can grow in confidence, ability, strength and stamina.

What do I love about what I do?

Each and every one of my Angelfish Swimmers is individual and I love helping them to build their skills and confidence in the pool.

I love the fact that every lesson I teach is different and that I am constantly learning and developing my teaching technique and style.

I love working out how we can best support all our swimmers. I am passionate about finding solutions, especially for those families who have additional needs or have found it hard to access mainstream lessons. Take Lachian and Orson for example, our very first toddler twins who joined us back in the autumn of 2019. They had been unable to access lessons elsewhere due to the fact that their mum, Cathy, was outnumbered and both children required an adult helper. So, I arranged for them to join a class taught in the usual format with the teacher in the water but with the additional support of me being in the group as a second pair of hands. It worked brilliantly and the boys enjoyed our team approach! Since then, I have had the pleasure of teaching the boys 2:1 and now with Lachian and Orson
having just turned 3 years old we are working towards them joining a standard preschool class in September, where Cathy will be poolside but still very much a partner in teaching her boys how to swim.

Cathy has very kindly given me her thoughts on the experience so far

When my boys arrived, I was determined that they wouldn’t miss out on anything just because they were twins. Most things were achievable but getting them in a pool on a regular basis proved harder – until we found Jen and Angelfish Swimmers. Jen was so approachable and flexible from the start and the boys warmed to her straight away. It is a
testament to Jen and her techniques that despite all the disruption and time away from the pool this last year the boys are hugely confident and clearly relish their growing independence in the water. They talk all the time about “swimming with Jen” and I’m so glad we found Angelfish. I’ll be sad when I’m no longer needed in the water with them but am so excited about watching their continued development with Jen from the poolside.’

And finally, I love, love, LOVE my teaching team – brilliant teachers of course, but more importantly, they are as passionate as I am about helping individuals to grow and reach their potential.

To Karsten, Trish, Nicole, Hannah and all our Angelfish Swimmers – here’s to the next ten plus years!

Jen x

Angelfish Swimmers, developing water confidence and beautiful swimming technique in a supportive and fun environment.