D is for Danger! (and how to avoid it this summer)

The sun is shining (at last), temperatures are rising (as best they can up North, anyway) and the incessant greenflies can only mean one thing: Summer is well and truly here – but are you ready? No, we don’t mean ‘bikini body’ ready. We mean that while your sunning, swimming, surfing or whatever you’re doing this summer, you and your children are confident and competent, and most importantly, completely safe in and around the water. So let’s start the summer check list:

Sun cream? Check
Shades? Check
Sand? Check
Knowledge about how to STAY SAFE when swimming in the sea? Ch… oh wait.

Maybe this last item on your check list isn’t QUITE as hot as the others. Don’t sweat: SwimNE are on hand with a handy downloadable presentation that will glide you through our tips on how to stay safe this summer. Are you and your family taking a dip over the holidays? Then download our summer safety tips here!

Ps. There’s even a super-fun quick quiz at the end so you can SEA (get it!?) what you’ve learnt.

Want to find out more about beach safety? Then why not check out the RNLI’s fantastic tips.

Happy Swimming, happy summer and remember: Swim safe!

From SwimNE

 

 

C is for… (swim) Camps!

Back of the net: It’s summer time!

Things have certainly been heating up this month: Football VERY nearly came home, and we’re all beginning to wind down for six fun-filled weeks of sun, sea, sand and … SwimNE’s summer swim camps, of course!

In this blog, we chat to Emma, who will be running SwimNE’s swim camps, all about what to expect at our holiday sessions.

AHOY Emma! Firstly, we’d love to know– why did you decide to run summer swim camps?

Well, firstly because they’re super fun, of course that goes without saying! But secondly, our swim camps are such an important tool for our swimmers as they really offer them the chance to keep practicing their skills during holiday time – only this is in a more social setting and with a more flexible structure than in their typical lessons. It might go quickly, but the six weeks holiday really is a long time to go without practicing skills, especially when all of our swimmers are so used to practicing regularly in their lessons. The structure of our swim camps is so flexible, and you can come along for any reason: Whether it’s to perfect the skills that our swimmers may be struggling with and want to build their confidence in within more focussed sessions, or whether it’s a specific skill they simply love doing and want a bit more freedom to work on. Our swim camps offer swimmers the chance to work in the same group every day, swim with their friends, make NEW friends, and just really get the most out of a more fluid (pardon the pun!) swimming environment and utilise our expertise outside of term time.

Sounds good to us! We’re particularly intrigued about the Water Polo and Rookie Lifeguard workshops – can you tell us more?

So, our Water Polo and Rookie Lifeguard workshops are designed for our more advanced swimmers (stage 7 and above). We’re running them on the weekends of our swim camp dates, and our aim is just to give our swimmers a bit of a taster for other aquatic disciplines, allowing them to experience these in more depth than they would in say our pre-comp sessions. Water Polo workshops are a HANDS-ON way for swimmers to develop their fitness, work on coordination skills (such as passing and catching), as well as testing their teamwork – and all in a fun environment with our specialist instructor. I think especially given all of the World Cup hype we’ve had recently, Water Polo is a good way to show that the fun with sports doesn’t have to stop on dry land! (See Water Polo in action here.) Our Rookie Lifeguard sessions are designed for our swimmers to learn more about invaluable water safety skills, which is also very topical for the summer months.  Rookie Lifeguarding aims to broaden swimmer’s horizons if they were thinking about joinining specific lifeguarding clubs outside of SwimNE.

Great stuff! While this is all obviously a fabulous opportunity for swimmers, what’s your favourite thing about swim camps?

It’s just honestly so great to have that flexibility to work with swimmers outside of their normal lesson environment – being with them every day means that I can see the results and their confidence growing – it’s just so positive to see all of their efforts paying off! I also get so much out of the varying group dynamics and the diversity of the different swimmers I work with each week. Without a doubt I’d have to say my favourite thing is the visual progress of each swimmer, whether that is through their increased confidence in the water or  whether it is watching them really get a particular swimming skill they’ve been struggling with or never had the self-confidence to try before.

So, we know that SwimNE’s swim camps are running from not one but TWO venues this summer – Sport Central in Newcastle and Boldon Dive Centre in East Boldon – why is this?

Both are just such great venues; Sport Central is great as it’s so modern with newer facilities. It also has a bigger pool which is ideal for our swimmers who are at the stage with us where they are about to move to a larger pool and want to get used to this environment. The pool itself also has a super-cool moveable floor which allows swimmers to practice in both shallow and deep water. I’m also excited about running our swim camps in Boldon Dive Centre on week 2 and 4 of the holidays. We’ve never had swim camps established in South Tyneside, so I was really keen this year to launch our swim camp at Boldon Dive Centre and build on the successes of our previous camps.

What would you say to first-time swim campers / those who are thinking about coming along?

Get yourself on board! Swim camps are such a great opportunity to make the most out of a) the flexibility that instructors have outside of term time and b) our expertise! Come along and chat to us about what it is your little swimmer wants to work on, and we can tailor sessions around these skills so that they can get the best out of their time over the four days.

On a final note, I’d say the elements of water safety that our swimmers learn throughout their sessions are invaluable. As we can see with fantastic ourdoor swimming events like Swim Safe 2018, summer is an important time to make sure that you and your child are clued up about not just being safe in the water, but also around it. At swim camp, we practice things like how to enter and exit the pool safely, and how to float, relax and breathe properly in the water. Swimmers coming to us from stage 3 and stage 4 will have the chance to practice some of the more advanced water competency skills they will have begun learning in their lessons, such as sculling and treading water.

So, WATER you waiting for? Simply click here to find out more and grab your space!

Don’t just take our word for it – check out what our happy customers have to say about our previous swim camps.

B is for… BUOYANCY! The benefits of using floatation aids

Welcome to the second instalment in our series of aquatic alphabet blogs! This time, SwimNE will be keeping your knowledge of water safety and skills buoyant by chatting all about FLOATATION AIDS and why they are an invaluable support for your child in the water.

Whatever floats your boat…

Woggles/Noodles, Kick Boards, SwimFins, Pull Buoys – WATER-ever their name, they do a very similar (and very important) job.

REMEMBER: If you see your child using floatation aids in one of our lessons, this doesn’t mean they can ‘no longer swim’ or that they have lost their momentum – even the most advanced swimmers use floatation aids in their training: Check out Olympic swimmer, Liam Tancock and GB coach, Ben Titley, as they demo how to swim like a PRO using a kickboard and a pull buoy!

Floatation aids: WATER they used for?

Whether they are intended for non-swimmers to strengthen their skills and build their confidence in the water, or for established swimmers working to perfect their technique, our swimming teachers use floatation aids for a multitude of reasons and in very different ways. Here’s a fab instructor, Kate, to tell you more!

So, the next time you see your child using a floatation aid, just think of the following:

F

Focus. Floatation aids allow your child to focus on other things aside from keeping themselves buoyant in the water. With this freedom, they can practice keeping the correct body position and improve their leg and arm movements. As they support your child whilst floating, floatation aids ensure safe practice while swimming – which is especially important if your little swimmer is nervous in and around the water.

L

Legs. All floatation aids – Woggles, Kickboards, SwimFins, Pull Buoys – can isolate the legs and allow swimmers to strengthen and correct their leg actions across the four different strokes.

O

Optimise your child’s time in the water. Floatation aids help swimmers maintain their stability so that they can devote more energy to practicing how certain movements create different effects and get the most out of their swimming lessons.

A

Arms. SwimFins and Pull Buoys allow swimmers to focus on their arm actions, build upper body strength and perfect the position of their arms as they enter and exit the water.

T

Technique. Introducing a floatation aid into swimming practice ensures that swimmers can fine-tune their swimming technique, enhancing their strength and stamina within the water.

Float to Live

Practicing water safety with floatation aids in swimming pools is all very well – but what about in open water environments? There are various floating positions that swimmers can perform in open water that may prove to be lifesaving. This summer, SwimNE will be delivering  Swim Safe 2018 – a free, outdoor swimming project that offers water safety and skills sessions to young people aged 7-14. With events running at Longsands, Tynemouth and Sanhaven, South Shields, Swim Safe is a wonderful way for your swimmer to learn more about the importance of floating – and many other swimming techniques –so that they can stay safe while swimming outdoors. To find out more and to book, take a look at Swim Safe’s website  and #swimsafethissummer.

For more information about the importance floating, check out RNLI’s recent campaign ‘Float to Live’ here

A is for… Adult Swimming!

The ‘A-team’: adult swimming lessons with SwimNE

Did you know that SwimNE not only deliver award-winning lessons to children – we also teach adults too! Many adult non-swimmers are quite apprehensive about dipping their toe into the world of adult swimming; SwimNE are here to teach anyone who is thinking about learning to swim that it’s never too late to learn! From beginner to advanced lessons, and from swim fit sessions to open-water and triathlon coaching, SwimNE have a specialised ‘A-Team’ who are devoted to helping adults take the plunge into pool.

But– you don’t just have to just take our word from it. What follows is Zoe’s Neasham’s story, a previous adult learner with SwimNE. When Zoe realised her seven-year-old daughter could swim better then she could, she became determined to learn to swim herself: here’s what happened next!

From tentative to triathlete: Zoe’s adult swimming story with SwimNE

What inspired me to start learning to swim with SwimNE? Well, it’s twofold! My daughter was my first inspiration: at seven years old, she could swim much better than me. When I could just about manage one length, my arms and legs thrashing about all over the place, my head held artificially high above the water, I would see my daughter in the pool. She swam so gracefully; elegantly gliding up and down in the water, my daughter made swimming look like the most natural and easiest thing in the world. Something had to change! My second source of swimming inspiration came from being an avid runner – I had always wanted to do a triathlon and then, as a birthday surprise, my friends entered me into one, and so this forced me to get myself into gear!

From chucking myself in to chickening out: my first (adult) lesson

I decided to take lessons with SwimNE as they were the first swim school that my daughter had attended where she’d been happy to learn without me forcing or bribing her. The day of my first ever lesson, I felt petrified –  I even warned SwimNE that I might chicken out. My initial lessons were great and I had a lovely, very understanding and encouraging instructor – even though I was certainly a novice in the water those first few lessons! Sadly, my instructor then had to take some time off work, so I took the chance to wimp out of learning to swim for a bit. Still, I kept thinking about the birthday present triathlon entry and I once more became determined to see it through. I asked Emma (another SwimNE instructor) if she would teach me –  and she said yes!  I had always thought Emma was a fantastic swimming teacher whenever she’d chatted to me at the poolside. My journey as an adult swimmer encompassed just about anything you could think of – from chickening out at first, to then chucking myself into the water at every given opportunity. I persevered from here on and this time round all the hard work payed off (I’m forty-four and I still have my distance badges proudly sewn onto my swim towel!)

My proudest swimming moment(s)

It’s tough to pick the achievements and moments that I am most proud of, but here’s two: firstly, there’s the Triathlon. I started lessons with Emma in 2013 and completed my first triathlon (a 400-metre pool swim) in August of the same year. I was hooked – and in July 2015, I became an Ironman after completing a 2.4mile lake swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon. I have also been fortunate enough to have two utterly amazing family moments with my daughters, both of whom learnt to SwimNE. When my eldest daughter (the one who embarrassed me into learning to swim in the first place) was nervous about completing a mile swim to gain her stage 10 badge, I was able to swim a mile with her. The two of us swimming together was a truly emotional moment, thinking about it now still makes me cry with pride! My younger dau!ghter was known as the water baby at Swim NE – she did a mini triathlon with me in July 2015 and I have a wonderful photo of us together stood at the poolside, proud as punch, numbers on our arms and ready for her race.

My advice to adult swimmers thinking about taking the plunge

 I’d have to say, ‘do it!’  Of course, like doing everything ‘for the first time’, learning to swim is daunting. Yet, with perseverance, suddenly one length becomes 100 metres and then 1000 metres! It’s a relaxing activity and a skill for life! With an encouraging teacher and the right swim school you will love it – I can’t thank SwimNE and each instructor that helped me along my swimming journey enough.

Has Zoe’s story whetted your appetite to enter the world of adult swimming? Why not check out what SwimNE offer here!

After further inspiration!? Read more about adult swimming by visiting Laura Quilter’s fantastic blog and learn about the full-body health benefits of swimming here!

With thanks to Zoe Neasham, written by Megan, SwimNE

Swimming in Health…

The Health Benefits of Swimming

On the 7th April, we celebrated World Health Day, and SwimNE have news for you. What if we said that it isn’t just drinking water that’s extremely beneficial to your health – swimming in it is, too! So, next time you go to drink your recommended two litres of water a day, why not consider taking a dip in your local pool as well? Before we get down to the full body benefits of a good aquatic workout, swimming is, firstly, a super affordable and genuinely great form of exercise for all individuals of any age. It’s especially good for child development. According to the CDC, children require a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise every day. Swimming is a fun activity to keep your child active, healthy, at the same time as learning an invaluable life skill that, best of all, doesn’t feel like a chore!

Head and shoulders above the rest: swimming benefits your whole body

From breaststroke and backstroke, to butterfly and freestyle (no – doggy paddle doesn’t count!), it’s a fact that swimming is a WHOLE body work out. We believe that this makes swimming head and shoulders above other forms of exercise in terms of its heath benefits. As a handy guide, we’re going to map out the different parts of your body that swimming helps improve, starting with your:

Head 

Did you know that swimming is particularly advantageous to your mental health? Swimming workouts have a psychologically positive impact on your mood; inciting mindfulness by focusing on your breath and the rhythm of your movements, swimming is a powerful way to unwind and relieve stress quickly. Swimming is relaxing as it forces you to regulate your own breathing, allowing more oxygen to flow to your muscles: a few lengths of the swimming pool is a great way to beat the blues whenever you get that sinking feeling!

Shoulders and Arms

Swimming is a fantastic way to build muscle strength throughout your whole body. Each muscle group has its own job to do as you navigate yourself through the water. While swimming tones your entire body, your arms and shoulders are the key body parts that aid you in every type of stroke. Specifically, the butterfly (although it is one of the hardest!) is the best for concentrating on your arm strength and toning. However, if you look more frantic than fluttery in the water when attempting to do the butterfly  – don’t worry! The backstroke and front crawl are also amazing strokes for building your shoulders and arms.

Chest, Lungs and Heart

Are you guilty of holding your breath while you exercise? Swimming is fantastic for regulating your breathing, which is not just beneficial for calming you down but also has great effects on the health of your lungs. As swimming increases overall lung volume and teaches good breathing techniques, it can help asthma suffers by alleviating some of the more troublesome symptoms.  Swimming engages the muscles in your chest, especially one of the biggest muscles you have: your heart. Improving cardiovascular fitness by increasing heart rate, reducing inflammation and preventing build-up in your arteries (no wonder we  HEART swimming!)

Bum and Tum

As you swim, you are stretching all the time. What happens when you’re stretching your body regularly? It becomes taught, making swimming perfect for toning, and even losing weight gradually without straining your body. As you kick, twist, pull, glide, and tread while you’re in the water, your glute muscles are constantly engaged, too!

Legs, Ankles and Feet

It is inevitable that there is a great deal of pulling and kicking while you swim. Your ankles, legs and feet become your fins, and they stretch with each time you kick through the water. This repetitive stretching helps with your overall flexibility and the various motions that are involved in swimming lengthen the muscles in a way that can make your joints more nimble. So, next time you think about taking up a Yoga class, why not try swimming for an effective way to stretch?

Are you feeling swim-spired to start!? Perhaps you want to stay healthy, tone up, or want to keep your kids active. Whatever the reason, SwimNE have a fantastic variety of lessons in a number of accessible areas, check out what we offer here.

To learn the health benefits swimming, why not check out this fab video? or the following informative articles by  Time.com and   Speedo.com! 

Happy swimming, and happy #WorldHealthDay from SwimNE!

 

 

There’s a first…

SwimNE on CBeebies!

 

Well would you look at that! Earlier this month, our very own director Matt Thompson was featured delivering our award-winning swimming lessons in an episode of  CBeebies’ fantastic ‘My First’ series. In the episode, CBeebies followed Daniella as she enjoyed her first swimming lesson. Check it out here! 

Do you have a child school age 4 or above who would love to learn to swim!? Then why not check out all SwimNE have to offer here. Want to dive in? Then why not drop us a line!

Tutor of the Year

SwimNE is delighted to announce that Matt Thompson has been awarded the Trainee Tutor of the Year award at the Swim England Educators Conference – December 2017.

Matt is responsible for the training and development of the swim team at SwimNE and this award recognises the high standard of the training and development of the teachers within our swim school.

SwimNE want you!

SwimNE want you!

 

Are you dynamic, self-motivated, and personable? Are you looking for an employer that is friendly, fun and flexible? Then SwimNE want you! We are looking to recruit new members to join our expanding team, delivering our award-winning swimming lessons across Newcastle, North and South Tyneside.

SwimNE are the go to provider of swimming lessons for children and adults across the region; using our comprehensive in-house training programme, we have worked with over 200 swimming instructors to help them learn, develop and improve their teaching skills.

We are interested in hearing from candidates with a Level 2 swimming teacher qualification, hold a safeguarding and protecting children certificate and who will be prepared to undergo a DBS check. Successful candidates will love working with young children and their parents and thrive in a fast-paced and rewarding environment. Further training will be undertaken with SwimNE upon completion of your application.

If this sounds like you, then why not drop us a line at team@swimne.co.uk, or call our office on 0191 281 7678 to receive a full application pack.

Happy swimming from SwimNE! 

 

Swimsafe returns

SwimNE have been delighted to be working with Swim England and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) this Summer to bring the Swim Safe project back to the North East for a third year!

 

Last year we delivered Swim Safe sessions in Summer 2017 to 1161 children in Tyne & Wear.

This year we will be offering over 2000 spaces to swimmers in the region.

 

Swim Safe is an open water initiative which offers FREE water safety sessions, in outdoor swimming environments for swimmers aged between 7-14 years of age. Swimmers must be able to swim a pool based, 25 metres to take part. All wetsuits are provided FREE of charge and sessions will last for one hour.

 

This years locations are;

  • Sandhaven beach, South Shields
  • Longsands beach, Tynemouth

 

Check back here in April for the full timetable for Summer 2018!!

 

Swimsafe

 

 

NPLQ/NRASTC courses

Our friends at Aquality Training will be running a National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) course the week of Monday 31st July to Saturday 5th August at Farringdon Community academy in Sunderland. The NPLQ course is suitable for all those who wish to undertake life guarding duties or to start a career in the leisure industry. The course includes CPR, pool work and it is a Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) recognised qualification.

The cost of the course is £300 (including VAT). The course runs on all days from 9am – 5.30pm and includes the assessment on Saturday 5th August.

The National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC) will run on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th July at Fenham pool in Newcastle. The course cost is £120 (including VAT) and will run from 9am to 6pm on both days.

For further information – please contact Matt Thompson at Aquality Training  – 0191 2817678