A new approach: Emily’s story

Today, we caught up with the lovely – and super chatty –  Emily (7), and her parents Michelle and Wes. Emily joined swimming lessons with SwimNE in September 2020. Despite only having a handful of lessons due to COVID-19 restrictions, Emily’s confidence has grown significantly during her time with SwimNE, and she is looking forward to jumping back into the pool very soon!

Tell us about your swimming background before joining SwimNE

Emily’s dad, Wes, commented: “We used to take Emily to swimming lessons at West Denton pool before it closed down. She’d only ever had a few lessons, so she was very much a beginner when she joined SwimNE.”

Michelle added: “Emily was never confident in the water, and I used to watch her clinging to the side of the pool during her lessons. Both Wes and I wanted her to learn to swim, especially for when we head abroad on our holidays. It’s such an important skill, and I want her to have the knowledge, the skills, and the confidence to keep herself safe.”

What made you choose SwimNE lessons?

“A friend recommended SwimNE lessons at PaddlePod to me,” said Wes. “I really liked the fact that the instructors taught in the water at SwimNE. With Emily lacking confidence, I really felt that this would help her.”

What do you remember about your first SwimNE lesson?

“I was a bit nervous at first,” explained Emily. “I hadn’t been swimming for a while, and I felt a little bit scared.”

Wes added: “We arrived at PaddlePod for our first SwimNE lesson, and my initial impressions were really positive. The venue was incredibly clean, and the teams had clearly taken the COVID-19 restrictions very seriously. I felt very safe there, right from the very beginning.”

“After getting her changed, I took Emily though to the side of the pool where we were met by a SwimNE team member. They showed Emily where she needed to go, and I headed upstairs to watch.”

“I really liked my teacher, Harriet,” said Emily. She was really lovely, and helped me to get into the water and move around. I kept trying to hold on to her, but Harriet told me I could do it – so I did. It helped me feel very confident that she was in the water beside me, and I really liked the blue shark fin which kept me really safe.”

“We played lots of games, and I had lots of fun. I made some new friends, too!”

What do you enjoy the most about SwimNE swimming lessons?

“I really like the races. Harriet throws balls into the pool, and we have to go and collect them,” Emily commented. “I enjoy paddling in the pool as well – it’s very refreshing! One week, I jumped into the pool all by myself and went under the water. I made a really big splash, and it was so fun! Harriet and the other children in my class all said well done and gave me a big clap, and this made me really happy.”

Michelle added: “I love the fact that Harriet is in the water with Emily. You could see how much more confidence this gave her, and it was reassuring as a parent too. When she had been to lessons previously, the instructors taught from the side of the pool. The groups were also much larger, so it was more difficult for them to adapt the activities to the abilities and requirements of each child.”

“You could see her confidence growing each week,” said Wes. “She is really looking forward to getting back into the pool.”

What stage are you working towards now?

“I got my stage 1 badge and certificate before Christmas,” said Emily, “so I’m going to be working towards stage 2 when I go back.”