Richard – My Coaching Story
I started teaching swimming aged 18 and have loved it ever since. I always was happy to work with more complex needs, this led me take my level 2 disabilities swimming teacher award, which is where I really learnt to teach knowing when, how and which adaptions to use is a lesson that has stayed with me. After completing the course I set up and worked with a variety of disabilities which eventually lead to me taking the lead in the disabilities squad at the at Harrogate District Swimming Club, a Hub Club for Swim England. During this time we have grown from 10 athletes to 18 all who participate in various levels of competition.
I am enormously proud of what we have achieved at the club. 5 swimmers swim at an international level, 9 at national level, and a growing number wanting to get there as well. What each athlete achieves just to make training would stop most before they got out the door. In our area recently we had a serious road accident that left one of our swimmers paralysed in both legs. Within 3 months of getting out of hospital we were able to get her in training and she was able to begin competing with in the year as well. That for me, is what we do as disability coaches and teachers, we empower recovery learning and if desired competition, working in Para swimming has taught me far more than I can ever give back. I continue to teach even the most beginner levels of swimming because I believe that it is every ones right to be able to swim.
If I had one piece of advice for those wanting to try swimming, disabled or not, it would be go to your pool and try. If you are nervous, ask to speak to your teacher first and find one that you can trust and put your faith in and then commit to it.