Autumn Training 2023 With The SwimWay Team

Autumn Training this term took place on Sunday 10th September. On the first Sunday of every term, the SwimWay Team gets together for an afternoon of in-depth training. This meeting is an important part of the SwimWay ethos, contributing to our drive to always improve our services. It covers health and safety, operational matters, methodology, client interaction and customer services, as well as any company updates.

Operations & Customer Service

New Team Members

SwimWay MD Dan Pastor kicked things off by welcoming new team members Yurii Garbulinskyi, Marta Sancho & Blu Edmunds. It is always sad to say goodbye to old colleagues. However, new faces always bring fresh, positive energy to the company. Yurii, Marta & Blu have had an excellent start with SwimWay. Such a lovely response from students, parents and co-workers alike. We are looking forward to a productive term ahead with this strong team!

New Kew Gardens Pool

Dan then spoke about the new Kew Gardens pool that is currently being built. An exciting time for SwimWay following the closure of the old Kew Gardens venue in June this year. A newly built 15m venue that will accommodate all ages and abilities from 3 months to 12 years. Aiming for a Summer 2024 opening – sign up to the waiting list here!

First Impressions

Dan then spoke about first impressions. Such an incredibly important part of the job when dealing face to face with clients. Especially when they are handing their children over to you. He showed the team a short video from Adam Alter “Why First Impressions Last a Lifetime” and spoke some more on the subject, emphasising the importance in the simplest actions to make a client and their child feel at ease on the first lesson. A smile, an introduction, a high five… These sometimes seem like minor things, but can make a huge difference.

Policies & Procedures

Before handing over to Tamsin, Dan then went through the usual staff policies and procedures. Uniforms, sickness, communications, emergencies, and term dates. The details are always important!

Teacher Development

Lydia & Alberto

Head Coach Tamsin Watt then took over and spoke about instructors Alberto and Lydia’s progression with their teacher development training. As mentioned in our last training blog, they have been undergoing the STA “Aquatic Tutor” course. This is to support Tamsin with ongoing training, help and supervision of SwimWay teachers. We plan to organise future courses in collaboration with SwimWay and Aquatic Training Courses.

Additional Learning Needs Training

Instructor Sophie Kane has been helping with organising further training for our lovely instructors through Autism Swim. Autism Swim is the international peak body for inclusive aquatics. They specialise in drowning prevention for those on the autism spectrum and with any specific learning needs. Thus far, six SwimWay Instructors have completed the Autism Swim Course, with more more to follow.

Parent & Baby Programme

Our new Head of Parent & Baby Lessons, Ana Mauricio has been hard at work over the past few months. She has put together an updated parent and baby programme which will be slowly introduced and improved upon this term. Her main aim is to make SwimWay parent & baby lessons more consistent throughout the team, whilst improving on the programme as a whole.

Teaching Focus

Every term meeting, Tamsin has a teaching focus she works on with the team. This term, it was breaststroke. She took the team through the focus point by point, explaining in detail what we are looking for:

  1. Instructors working over a short distance to introduce new skill
  2. Breaking the stroke down
  3. Introducing breaststroke legs first using hands on assistance
  4. Small arm pull
  5. Correct drills to assist timing of stroke (particularly lifting head at correct time)
  6. Ensuring starts and turns for breaststroke are included

Health & Safety Training

Next up was our Emergency First Aid Training for Swimming Teachers. This was conducted by National Pool Lifesaving Society UK tutor David Ashton. The course was endorsed by the RLSS.

Here, the team learnt about the importance of CPR and understanding the anatomy involved. Importantly the primary and secondary surveys involving action for vomit and recovery positions. Also on the agenda was:

  1. How to use a defibrillator and how effective they can be. 
  2. The types of CPR and the effects of drowning
  3. Action for Choking and Seizures

Then David ran a practical session where the team ran through recovery positions, action for choking and seizures. Then they practiced CPR using little Anne mannequins for adult CPR, child CPR and infant CPR.

While these types of incidents are extremely rare, you can never ignore the possibilities of them occurring. SwimWay team training sessions will cover all bases. Thus ensuring our instructors are always prepared.

Team Bonding

Once the training was done, everyone who was able made their way to the local for a couple of drinks and a chit chat! This is an important aspect of these meetups, as it is a chance for everyone to meet and interact face-to-face. Everyone’s spirits were high, and it was a fun end to a hard day’s work!

Click here to find out more about SwimWay’s dedication to health and safety excellence.