Take A Dip With The Dolphin Ladies
by Lisa De Silva
Would you love to learn to swim? Improve your technique, or train for an event? Why not take the plunge and join the Dolphin Ladies Swimming Club? This year the Club celebrates 40 years of helping women of all ages to feel both confident and competent in the water.
The Dolphin Ladies Swimming Club (DLSC) was the brainchild of Jeanne Izod, who first set the Club up in the newly opened Dolphin Leisure Centre back in April 1977. The initial aim was to provide a supportive and relaxed environment for women to learn to swim and improve their strokes.
As membership grew rapidly, Jeanne decided that instead of hiring paid instructors, it would make sense for members to train as qualified swimming instructors and teach the classes themselves. To date, the DLSC has taught over 1,500 ladies to swim and many of these have gone on to train as swimming instructors.
As many of the instructors only learnt to swim later in life, their teaching methods are both sympathetic and patient. This supportive approach is a major factor in the Club’s continued success.
“I think people appreciate the companionship of us all being ladies together,” explains current Chairwoman, Pam Edwards. “Our lessons are for everybody regardless of ability. So whether you are a complete beginner, want to improve your technique, or train to a competitive level, we ensure that everyone enjoys the lessons and the social side afterwards.”
Perhaps it is this warm and friendly community spirit that keeps members so loyal. Many have been swimming with the club for over 30 years and Jeanne herself was still teaching up into her 90s. Lifelong friendships have been formed and new career opportunities as swimming instructors have opened up.
“I’d never had a swimming lesson until my 30s, but fell in love with swimming, did the teacher training courses and launched into a great new career,” says Deputy Chairwoman Carolyn Heeley. For members interested in training as an instructor with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) or the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA), the Club pays half the training fees in return for one year’s voluntary teaching.
Classes are held during term time only, on Tuesday mornings at the Dolphin Leisure Centre and Friday mornings at Ardingly College. Each class lasts 30 minutes. The Club is non-profit making and fees range from £32 to £45 a term, making the lessons great value for money.
So, if you would like to learn or improve your swimming do get in touch with DLSC. You will improve your swimming, meet some lovely new friends and maybe start a whole new career. I was so impressed, I’ve joined up myself!
For membership details contact:
Telephone: 07564 874760
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (include your name & phone number)