I love swimming. There aren’t many fundamental life skills, that can not only save your life, but also open the door to new friends, well-being, and adventures. Knowing the capacity for swimming and the swimming community to empower our lives both in and out of the water, for a long time, it has been my hope to apply what I’ve learnt since I started swimming again, and help other people access, enjoy and be safe in the water.
So, two weeks ago I completed the ASA Level 1 Teaching Aquatics qualification. From day 1 candidates were in the pool working as teaching assistants, alongside Level 2 teachers instructing students aged 5-9 years old with varying levels of swimming experience.
It’s a busy week learning about the 4 strokes, gaining insights on interpersonal communication, the policy and legal frameworks in which swim teachers operate and of course getting in the pool supporting the teachers and also leading some parts of the sessions.
When you love swimming in lakes and seas, it is easy to forget quite how daunting the first steps into water can be, and working with these young learners really helped deconstruct swimming and appreciate its fundamental elements. And, as with so many things, it also reminded me that the best way to learn is by having fun…
Breathing when swimming can be a real hurdle for many people, but blowing bubbles into the water and impersonating a boat is much easier; and why focus on streamlining when you can just pretend to be a rocket?
To say it’s rewarding to see one of your students go from a look of tearful terror at the beginning of a class to laughing in the water, is an understatement.
Away from the pool teaching, what struck me in particular was the diversity of the candidates: People of all ages, from synchronized swimmers, and club swimmers looking to ‘give back’ to their clubs, and people embarking on a career change, and of course, an open water swimmer. By far the majority were women.
We all brought different perspectives and our excellent course tutor somehow managed to accommodate our different strengths and weaknesses, and through a variety of lectures, group discussions, activities and games we all learned from each other, got through the course syllabus and passed!
What a fantastic week! Thank you to all my fellow students and Shelley and Lorna at Aquability!
A Lotus Rises is a community of women who inspire and are inspired by a love of open water. From the first splash, through to wild swims and marathon swimming, many more inspirational stories, advice and adventures can be found on our Blog, and Facebook page and please don’t hesitate to get in touch via @ALotus_Rises on Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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芙蓉出水. Out of the water A Lotus Rises.