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20 Questions with Ed

1.     If you were a biscuit, what one would you be?

An Oreo!   

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 2.   What is your favourite type of food?

I would have to say i love going out for Steak! Cattle Grid in Windsors is my go to steak place, who doesn’t want pull pork on top of your steak. 

3.    What is your first memory of swimming?

My first memory is of my swim instructor balancing himself on the rails on the steps leading down to poolside to demonstrate a breaststroke leg kick as when he was showing us standing up we tried to do it with just one leg.              

 4.    When did you decide you wanted to become a Swimming Instructor?

While I was still competing, the club I swam for gave the swimmers an opportunity to assist with the learn to swim programme.                    

 5.    Back Stroke or Butterfly?

Butterfly all day!                              

 6.    What type of Music do you listen to, do you like?

Anything that Spotify can throw at me.                    

 7.    What were your best subjects as School?

I did really well at business studies and also had a head for numbers so I did okay with maths.                 

 8.    What is your favourite film?

The Lion King, big Disney fan!           

 9.    Fish and chips or fine dining?

Got to go fine dining.            

 10.  If you have one word to describe yourself what would it be?

Relaxed        

 11.   What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I love animals; I definitely remember a few discussion about being a vet.                

 12.  Tea or Coffee?

Red bull...                  

 13.   Breast Stroke or Front Crawl?

Breaststroke            

 14.   Open Water or Swimming Pool?

I have a terrible sense of direction so it has to be a pool swim, I would end up getting lost anywhere else!                

15.   Sweet or Savoury?

Have a hugeeee sweet tooth!            

16.   What is your favourite colour?

Green            

 17.   Name one food that you would never give up?

Pizza!            

 18.  What Sign Star are you?

Sagittarius               

 19.   What was the last thing you took a photo of?

The morning sky                    

 20.  If you could be anyone who would it be?

Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock                    

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Water Safety and Triplets

I made a conscious effort this year not to send out a blog at the beginning of the summer months regarding the number of children and adults that drown needlessly in this country every year.

Also not to say how it really doesn’t matter what your age and swimming ability we should never take the power of water for granted and always show it maximum respect.

However I think it all does us good just to be reminded!

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It is again with great sadness that I read in the paper a few days ago of a beautiful little boy of five who drowned on holiday in Portugal –

TRIPLET, 5 DIED IN Villa’s pool on holiday

‘A boy of five drowned in a villa swimming pool on the first day of a family holiday.

Archie Skidmore – one of the triplets - had removed his lifejacket-style buoyancy aid and got in the water unsupervised, the inquest heard.

His parents were on the balcony when they saw him in the pool.  Mum Rachel said “He was floating face down”

The Mother a trained first aider called an ambulance and gave her son CPR but it was in vain.

Archie, of Belbroughton, Worcs was joined by his two brothers and grandparents on the trip to the Algarve in Portugal in July. 

The Coroner at the inquest in Worcester concluded the youngster’s death was accidental

I just cannot imagine what the parents are going through and what their relationship with water will be for the rest of their lives? It absolutely breaks my heart when I read these stories and just one that I felt that must be shared

This is an interesting table, 592 people died of water related incidents in the UK in 2017, very sad the number of suicides but also very sad the accidental numbers

You may be asking why the Santa outfit? Les’s daughter who is a teacher at the Montessori school in Downley asked her dad if he would be Santa 15 years ago and since then 3 different schools in the area receive a visit from Les in his Santa outfit at Christmas time each year.

Les really enjoys his swimming, but for both Les and Dave this weekly lesson has become much more than just that, it is also a well enjoyed social occasion.

But remember – You can never stop learning!

All activities by outcome                            UK 2017

Accident Suspected & Confirmed             242

Natural Causes Suspected & Confirmed       13

Suicide Suspected & Confirmed                209

Crime Suspected & Confirmed                       5

Not Recorded Suspected & Confirmed      123

Grand Total                                           592

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Even Santa has Swimming Lessons with Dolphin Swimming Club

You may be wondering why on earth I am showing you a photo of Santa when we have just finished eating all our Easter Eggs and we are desperately looking for some Spring type weather and a little sunshine??

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Let me introduce you to Les Swift! I am really pleased and proud to say that Les holds two records in the history of Dolphin Club.

The first is that he is our oldest swimmer at a mere 85 years young.

The second is that he has also been swimming with us for over 15 years, which makes him our longest attending member! (P.S. I must add that it hasn’t taken Les 15 years to learn to swim!)

Les first met Dave when his daughter (whose children all went through our swimming club!) bought her dad a swimming voucher with us for 6 lessons as a 70th birthday present.

He first came along to one of our venues at the old Bellhouse Hotel in Beaconsfield.

He then attended another one of our venues in High Wycombe before finally coming along to The Marlow Club.

Les had basic swimming skills but found it difficult to take a breath when swimming and was also lacking in confidence when he was attempting to swim on his back. Les is now more than happy to try all four swimming strokes and is now confident enough to have a go at anything Dave suggests (now that is a real worry!!)

Breast stroke is Les’s favourite stroke and he now has a great leg kick and a good glide. Diving to the bottom and swimming with snorkel and flippers are just some the fun elements that Les has enjoyed! Les has also achieved 10m Butterfly which is just amazing!

Les’s early career involved ten years working for the RAF and Air Ministry as an instrument maker (navigational) and during that time also played saxophone with the RAF station dance band. A different type of instrument.

Perhaps that explains having a good lung capacity!

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You may be asking why the Santa outfit? Les’s daughter who is a teacher at the Montessori school in Downley asked her dad if he would be Santa 15 years ago and since then 3 different schools in the area receive a visit from Les in his Santa outfit at Christmas time each year.

Les really enjoys his swimming, but for both Les and Dave this weekly lesson has become much more than just that, it is also a well enjoyed social occasion.

But remember – You can never stop learning!

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20 Questions with Amber

1. If you were a biscuit, what one would you be?
Chocolate digestive 

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2. Where is your favourite type of food?
Fillet steak

3. What is your first memory of swimming?
When I was on holiday

4. When did you decide you wanted to become a Swimming Instructor?
I’m not exactly sure when but I was pretty young!

5. Back Stroke or Butterfly?
Butterfly    

6. What type of music do you like?
All sorts

7. What were your best subjects as school?
PE and Photography

8. What is your favourite film?
I have many but Matilda and Parent Trap are standing out!

9. Fish and chips or fine dining?
Fine dining

10. If you have one word to describe yourself what would it be?
Fun

11. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A member of the Spice Girls or S Club 7!

12. Tea or Coffee?
Tea

13. Breast Stroke or Front Crawl?
Front Crawl

14. Open water or swimming pool?
Both

15. Sweet or savoury?
Both

16. What is your favourite colour?
Pink and blue

17. Name one food that you would never give up?
Maybe potatoes?

18. What star sign are you?
Cancer

19. What was the last thing you took a photo of?
My rabbits

20. If you could be anyone who would it be?
Me!

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Housekeeping!

I can hear the ringing of jingle bells in the not too distant future, together with the lovely smell of Christmas trees and mince pies…….. (Sorry about that!)

So in no time at all it will be the end of the term and this means the renewal process for January is about to start. Just to remind you the last day of this term is Saturday the 16th December.

Dave will be asking you all on poolside if you are returning in January (hopefully you will be!) and if so we will email you an enrolment form showing term dates and fees. Our email and text system is only as good as the details that we hold for you. Therefore if you have changed or updated either, please let us know as soon as you can!

The Spring term dates are:

Thursday 4th January to Thursday 29th March

Half term week commencing Monday 12th February

(These dates will be shown on your enrolment forms!)

I also wanted to let you know about a change in the payment process for January. Unfortunately we will no longer be taking payments by card. You are still able to pay directly into the bank using your child’s name as a reference.

(If you need a reminder of the bank details, please see your enrolment form or let me know.)

Cash and cheques can be accepted on poolside by prior arrangement.

Please also remember that the next time that certificates and badges will be for sale will be just prior to the Easter break.

We do have a few early swimming slots available on Wednesday at 3.00pm and Thursday and Friday at 2.30pm, 3.00pm and 3.30pm. We still run our ‘Recommend a Friend’ programme whereby if you recommend a new customer and they start to swim with us you are entitled to a free lesson. If you can spread the word we would be grateful.

Can I also ask that if you don’t follow us already on Facebook that you take a look and if you possibly can like our page and please share this with your friends!!

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Short and sweet this time, will be in touch again before Christmas!

Keep Swimming

Annie

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20 Questions with Sheila

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1. If you were a biscuit, what one would you be?
Sheila:        Rich Tea finger

2. Where is your favourite type of food?
Sheila:        Fish

3. What is your first memory of swimming?
Sheila:        At Primary school, diving in to the new school pool!

4. Fish and chips or fine dining?
Sheila:        Fine dining

5. Back stroke or Butterfly?
Sheila:        Neither    

6. What type of music do you listen to, do you like?
Sheila:        All sorts

7. What were your best subjects as school?
Sheila:        Maths and languages

8. What is your favourite film?
Sheila:        Any musical

9. Sunrise or sunset?
Sheila:        Sunrise

10. If you have one word to describe yourself what would it be?
Sheila:        Kind

11. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Sheila:        No idea

12. Tea or coffee?
Sheila:        Tea

13. Breast stroke or front crawl?
Sheila:        Front crawl

14. Open water or swimming pool?
Sheila:        Swimming pool

15. Sweet or savoury?
Sheila:        Sweet

16. What is your favourite colour?
Sheila:        Red

17. Name one food that you would never give up?
Sheila:        Cake

18. What star sign are you?
Sheila:        Capricorn

19. What was the last thing you took a photo of?
Sheila:        A friend

20. If you could be anyone who would it be?
Sheila:        Me!
 

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It’s that time of year again!

Here we are again!  The beginning of a new term and it won’t be long before the Summer becomes a distant memory!  (Gosh that’s a depressing start!!……)

It was a busy end of term with the report cards and awards.  The children were very proud to receive their certificates and badges, and so they should be as they were all very well deserved.  Remember that we do not offer certificates and badges for sale at the end of the Autumn term as we have found in the past that it is all a little too much for the children after a break and starting back at school.  However the children will be assessed to keep track of their progress and formally assessed in the Spring term starting in January.

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We said goodbye to a few children who either couldn’t make the classes we were offering :( or had just reached the time when they were finished with our club so wish them all well and good luck for the future.

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As you know we said a very sad goodbye to Rupert (Instructure Marlow Saturday) who had been with us for some time both as a Life Guard and an Instructor.  Rupert used to live in Marlow but his family have now moved to London and Rupert has gone off to University.  Eddie has now taken over his slot on a Saturday and all his lessons I am very pleased to say went fine on the first Saturday of the new term!

For those of you that have been on poolside you may have noticed our bright new T Shirts we are all wearing.  A couple of reasons for this colour choice, one being that they are really bright! The other being that a few years ago we were externally assessed by an independent assessor from the Swimming Teachers Association on all aspects of running a swim school and one of the few points that was raised was that all poolside and teaching staff should be identifiable at all times.  We always wore yellow on poolside and white in the water but in ‘electric yellow’ you really couldn’t be missed!!  Also it will brighten up any dull winter days that may be ahead…….

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We are also delighted that Mollie has joined to us teach at our Stoke Park Club venue.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally I wanted to share this picture of lovely Sophie with Alfie and Harry, this picture sums up Dolphin Swimming Club and what we are all about!!

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20 Questions with Dave

1. What is your earliest memory of swimming?
Dave: Bognor Regis in the sea when I was about 5 (I think!)

2. Have you always had an interest in swimming?
Dave: Yes, my Dad used to swim competitively and it was natural for swimming to become a big part of both our lives.
   
3. What age did you join a swimming club?
Dave: I was about 9 years of age when I joined Lambeth Swimming Club.

4. What was your main memory of your time at swimming club?
Dave: A Father and Son relay

5. What strokes did you concentrate on at swimming club?
Dave: I started with front crawl but eventually switched to backstroke. Raced both front crawl and backstroke.  Main medals won for distance swims.

6.  What is your favourite stroke now?
Dave: Butterfly – I try to keep fit!

7. Could you ever imagine not having swimming as a part of your life?
Dave: No!  I still really enjoy the water.  It used to love being competitive, but now it gives me time to relax and think!

8. What made you start your own swimming school?
Dave: My son was having private swimming lessons and I thought it would be a great opportunity to do something that I really enjoyed.

9.  What is your favourite film, or one of them?
Dave: Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.

10. If you were a biscuit what one would you be?
Dave: Definitely a Garibaldi!

11. If you had to describe yourself in one word what would that be?
Dave: Content.

12. Name one food that you would never give up
Dave: Peanut butter, yum, yum!

13. What is your favourite colour?
Dave: Green.

14. What is the best place you have ever been to?
Dave: Egypt.

15. Swimming pool or open water
Dave: Definitely a swimming pool as I have a fear of sharks!

16. Have you any other hobbies apart from swimming?
Dave: Yes I love to draw and have been attending classes for nearly two years.

17.  Sweet or savoury
Dave: Must be sweet.

18.  Coffee or tea?
Dave: Neither, I don’t like hot drinks.  I may very, very occasionally have a hot chocolate on a cold winters day when I am out with the dog.

19.  What star sign are you?
Dave: Cancer.

20.  If you could be anyone for a day who would you be?
Dave: Richard Branson.
  
 

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The Swimming Teachers Association – Learn to Swim Programme!

One of the items raised in the Customer Questionnaire that we issued at the end of last year was that a number of you did not understand how the award system that we run works. I must admit, it can be rather confusing and I hope that after you read this brief summary you will understand the workings of it a little better!  Here goes …..

 

Dolphin Club is a member of the two main swimming bodies in the UK, the STA (Swimming Teachers Association) and the ASA (the Amateur Swimming Association).  

Although we do support both of these organisations, we follow the STA Learn to Swim Programme partly due to the fact that the STA is a charity and also that the STA leans towards water safety, which is one of the main objectives of our swimming club.  

Both the award schemes are very similar but rather than categorising a child by being at a specific level and therefore almost labelling their swimming ability, we would rather just say they have reached a certain award whilst gaining water confidence and skills.

The award system starts with the Starfish series, from Starfish 1 through to 6.  The Starfish programme is for all our lovely baby and toddlers aged 6months to 36months.  This is baby’s first taste of lessons with their mum or dad, or with both mum and dad!  

Once a toddler has reached the age of 3 years and can go into the water on their own without a parent they start on the Stanley Series of awards.  In fact, all our children aged 3 upwards and non swimmers start on these awards.  These run through from Stanley 1 through to Stanley 7, by which time they will have learned to swim at least 10m and have learnt various swimming skills.

On the chart you will see the next set of awards in the series is set of 3 Octopus Awards. These are designed for the slightly older non swim 5 to 8 year olds but a little less comprehensive than the Stanley awards, therefore we tend to use the Stanley series regardless of the age of the child.

Following on from the Stanley series is Goldfish 1 through to 3.  This is the stage where you will notice the instructors looking a little more at stroke technique and breathing, and we are looking for the children to be swimming at least between 10 and 15m.

Next step is the Angelfish series, again 1 through to 3.  We are looking at 20 – 25m. Swimmers at this stage are swimming all strokes, correct breathing, and not forgetting swimming skills!

Last but not least is the Shark series.  Again 3 parts to the series. This is an advanced swimming series including survival techniques and at the end of the series a swimmer would be expected to swim at least 100m.

We are looking at these children ending their swimming time with us and moving on to swimming club.

We also have ‘distance’ awards that start at 5m through to 200m and these are also awarded through the year.  (Anything over 10m must show both correct breathing and stroke).

However, and this is a really big however…………….

In theory this is great but in reality it can sometimes work out quite differently!  You may have a child who has jumped 2 levels as they may have adapted to the skills very easily.  You may have a child who may need another term just to be able to perform all the skills required in an award more comfortably or who has found it difficult to swim a required distance to reach an award.  On the other hand you may have a child who can swim in excess of the desired distance but not quite so good with the skills, and the combinations go on!!!  

Also, all of our instructors may interpret the syllabus slightly differently, although we do try really hard to be consistent!

At the end of the day we are happy if the children we teach are water confident and happy and progressing regardless of the award they have or have not achieved.  The award system is designed to be an incentive to encourage and show progressive improvement at all levels.

If you would like a comprehensive list of the skills required in each of the awards, drop me an email (swim [at] dolphinswimmingclub [dot] com), I would be happy to get these to you!

I do hope this helps but please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or queries.


Annie

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20 Questions with Sian!

Every month we will publish a 20 question short, fun interview with one of our instructors or life guards.

This month's '20 Questions With..." feature, we have Sian's answers below. Sian is a fully qualified Level 2 Instructor. She also works in IT and enjoys travelling.

By the way, if you can think of any other fun and interesting questions, please email us at swim@dolphinswimmingclub.co.uk or drop us a line on our Facebook Page.

1. If you were a biscuit, what one would you be?
Sian:        Jammy Dodger

2. Where is your favourite type of food?
Sian:        Italian!

3. Back Stroke or Butterfly?
Sian:        Back Stroke

4. What is your favourite animal?
Sian:        Dolphin

5. Have you ever had any dancing lessons?  Who would you want to dance with if you had the chance?
Sian:    Yes, I had a dance coach when I performed in the Olympic Opening Ceremony!  I’d want to bring them all back and dance with all of them again to relive the memory.    

6. What type of music do you listen to, do you like?
Sian:        Chart music

7. What was your best subject at school?
Sian:        Music

8. What is your favourite film?
Sian:        Anything Disney!

9. What did you do for your last birthday?
Sian:    I had lunch on a roof-top bar in Trafalgar Square and then went to see Motown the musical.    

10. If you have one word to describe yourself what would it be?
Sian:        Thoughtful

11. When did you start swimming?
Sian:    I started having swimming lessons when I was 6.

12. Tea or coffee?
Sian:         Tea

13. Breast Stroke or Front Crawl?
Sian:        Breast Stroke

14. Open water or swimming pool?
Sian:        Swimming pool

15. Sweet or savoury?
Sian:        Sweet

16. Are you superstitious?
Sian:        No!

17. Name one food that you would never give up?
Sian:        Chocolate!

18. What star sign are you?
Sian:        Leo

19. What was the last thing you took a photo of?
Sian:        Niagara Falls

20. Who is your favourite actor?
Sian:    Probably Johnny Depp as I love the Pirates of the Caribbean films.


 

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20 Questions with Lena!

Every month we will publish a 20 question short, fun interview with one of our instructors or life guards.

This month's '20 Questions With..." feature, we have Lena's answers below. Lena is a fully qualified Level 2 Instructor and is also a qualified beauty therapist.

By the way, if you can think of any other fun and interesting questions, please email us at swim@dolphinswimmingclub.co.uk or drop us a line on our Facebook Page.

 

1. If you were a biscuit, what one would you be?
Lena:        Custard Cream

2. Where is your favourite type of food?
Lena:        Indian!

3. Dogs or cats:
Lena:        Dogs

4. Fish and chips or fine dining?
Lena:        Fine dining

5. Back stroke or butterfly?
Lena:        Backstroke

6. What type of music do you listen to, do you like?
Lena:        R'n'B old skool

7. What were your best subjects as school?
Lena:        Drama and singing

8. What is your favourite film?
Lena:        Dirty Dancing

9. Sunrise or sunset?
Lena:        Sunrise

10. If you have one word to describe yourself what would it be?
Lena:        Crazy……..

11. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Lena:        A singer or an actress

12. Tea or coffee?
Lena:        Coffee

13. Breast stroke or front crawl?
Lena:        Breast stroke

14. Open water or swimming pool?
Lena:        Swimming pool

15. Sweet or savoury?
Lena:        Savoury

16. Are you superstitious?
Lena:        Very!

17. Name one food that you would never give up?
Lena:        Curry

18. What star sign are you?
Lena:        Gemini

19. What was the last thing you took a photo of?
Lena:        Selfie

20. If you could be anyone who would it be?
Lena:        Rapunzel
 

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New Year New Start New Staff!

It is always busy at the beginning of any new term so I wanted to let the dust settle a little before I brought you up to date with our latest staff news!

It is always sad when a member of staff leaves our employment for whatever the reason and lovely Laura decided to go back to teaching foreign children English which she loves doing, and Korrie who worked as a Life Guard at Chesham left to concentrate on her school studies (good for her!) Kasia who worked for us for a short time at Marlow moved and found the journey to the Marlow Club very difficult!

However I am really pleased to announce that we have some amazing (and glamourous!) new staff and would love to share this news with you!  

Eddie Churn

Ed has worked with us for some time now but mainly in a Life Guard capacity at The Marlow Club (although a qualified Instructor!) He had a major operation on his ankle which stopped him from teaching but now is recovering well and it is great to see him in the pool on a Wednesday and Thursday.  Ed also teaches at Tylers Green Middle School on a Monday.

‘I enjoy swimming (you would of thought I do enough) and cycling even when the weather is bad, when I’m feeling a bit more lethargic I like to go to the cinema or have people round to socialise’


Rebecca Nicholson

We are so pleased that Rebecca has joined us to work at Stoke Park. 
 
‘I am an ex-competitive swimmer for Ealing and Harrow Borough. I love teaching and have been doing so for 2 years, alongside creating videos for my YouTube channel! I have the determination to make sure that each individual succeeds and does their best in swimming!’


Rachel Moffat

Lovely Rachel works at Stoke Park Club on a Wednesday and Saturday and you may also have seen her at The Marlow Club on a Saturday!

‘I started swimming lessons as a child which then progressed onto Slough and Eton Dolphins swimming club. At 15 my coach asked me to teach with him and from then I realised swimming teaching is a massive passion for me and haven't stopped. I got my level 1 and then level 2 ASA swimming teachers’ certificates. I have taught all age ranges from parent and baby to adults and have taught children with learning difficulties. Every swimmer is so different so I do enjoy the challenge of being flexible to work with every need of the swimmer’ 

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20 Questions with Sophie!

In our recent customer feedback survey, one of the issues raised was that customers and parents would love to know a little more about the staff at Dolphin Swimming Club.

So every month we will publish a 20 question short, fun interview with one of our instructors or life guards.

To kick of the '20 Questions With..." feature, we have Sophie's answers below. Sophie is a fully qualified Level 2 Instructor. She has been with us for over 2 and a half years and also helps with our administration.

By the way, if you can think of any other fun and interesting questions, please email us at swim@dolphinswimmingclub.co.uk or drop us a line on our Facebook Page.

1. If you were a biscuit, what one would you be?
Sophie:        Chocolate digestive

2. Where is your favourite place to eat?
Sophie:        Nandos

3. Dogs or cats:
Sophie:        Dogs

4. Fish and chips or fine dining?
Sophie:        Fine dining

5. Back stroke or Butterfly?
Sophie:        Butterfly

6. What type of music do you listen to/like?
Sophie:        Chart music

7. What were your best subjects at school?
Sophie:        Art and music

8. What is your favourite film?
Sophie:        Anything Disney!

9. Sunrise or sunset?
Sophie:        Sunrise

10. If you have one word to describe yourself what would it be?
Sophie:        Friendly

11. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Sophie:        A Teacher

12. Tea or Coffee?
Sophie:        Green tea

13. Breast stroke or front crawl?
Sophie:        Front crawl

14. Open water or swimming pool?
Sophie:        Swimming pool

15. Sweet or savoury?
Sophie:        Sweet

16. Are you superstitious?
Sophie:        No!

17. Name one food that you would never give up?
Sophie:        Chocolate!

18. What star sign are you?
Sophie:        Cancer

19. What was the last thing you took a photo of?
Sophie:        Food!  Paella!

20. If you could be anyone who would it be?
Sophie:        A mermaid!

 

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Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund

It always breaks my heart when I hear stories like little Charlie who at 10 months old was diagnosed with cancer. You can’t quite believe it. I just cannot imagine how his parents and relatives cope with something like this.

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Here at Dolphin Club, we try and support as many causes as we can throughout the year and this charity has really touched us and we are proud to help in any small way we can. Dave will therefore be running the 50 50 Competition on poolside at all our venues again when we get back swimming after the half term break.

Remember, it really is simple and easy. There are 50 squares on the grid and all are £2.00 per square. When you buy a square your details are entered on it and when all the squares are sold we will then peel off the sticker on the competition sheet which will reveal the number of the winning square. The winner will receive the £50.00 prize and the other £50.00 raised will be sent off to the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.

About Lennox Children's Cancer Fund

"Since the charity started in 1992, our main aim has been to make a positive difference to the lives of children diagnosed cancer or leukaemia. This is done by offering practical, financial and emotional support to the whole family through our range of projects.

The caring teams at our offices always give 100% to ensure that the families we help have the support that need to get through the problems and stresses that cancer brings. We aim to make a big difference to as many children as possible with the minimum of fuss and without the need for 'red tape'.  Any request for assistance will be considered in an open, friendly, understanding and sensitive manner.

We pride ourselves on the assistance we are able to offer to families when they need it most."

We know we can count of your valued support.

Many thanks as always,

Annie

 

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The Months of August and September

It always puts a smile on my face when at the end of July, customers say to us ‘Enjoy your summer’ I have this vision of Dave and I sailing away into the sunset with our bucket and spade enjoying lazing for six weeks somewhere exotic…………….. and then the reality check kicks in!

The summer is a really busy time for a swim school.  We offer one to one lessons (which we're not always able to do during term time due to pool space) all through the summer at the Marlow Club, and also our Summer Splash 4 or 5 day intensive courses at some of our other venues.  These all need to be planned for and we start doing this early in July. We also teach privately at those customers houses who have their own pool.

In conjunction with this, the September timetable is also being planned.  This is a chance for us to update our timetable and make any changes after the July assessments when the children will all have received their report cards and awards.  We also have to try and create some new classes especially for little non swimmers. I often say to people this is like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle, trying to fit children of all ages and abilities into limited places not forgetting if they have siblings that need to be fitted in as well. As the ratio at The Marlow Club is so low 2:1 it sometimes proves really tricky. (We also have a long waiting list for all our venues that we also need to address.) You wouldn’t believe how long this process can take, not forgetting most people are away during August if you do need to speak with a customer regarding moving a class, etc.

Then just when you think you have everything sorted and are beginning to relax a little, the term starts and we then find that –

  • We have children who were not swimming or swimming with aids at the end of the last term but have spent the whole summer in a pool and are swimming away!
  • Children who were swimming well at the end of the term and for whatever reason haven’t managed to swim very much during the summer may have lost a little confidence
  • Or - More confident swimmers who again have been swimming all summer and improved immensely!

Therefore the classes that you had originally planned and booked children into, thinking they are one level may well have changed and we find we have a number of children who are now in the incorrect groups. This is where you find that a lot of your planning was in vain and it’s back to the drawing board! 

We always say to customers and especially new September customers that the first couple of weeks back is very much ‘trial and error’ as we will find we will need to make lots of moves to accommodate all the changes!

We wouldn’t know what to do if we were not kept busy, or would we???????

:)

 

Keep swimming,
Annie

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New Staff Announcement!

We are delighted to announce that we have two new Swimming Instructors joining us this term working at the Marlow Club and Stoke Park Club.

Please give Kasia and Sarah a very warm welcome!

Kasia

Kasia will be teaching at the Marlow Club on a Wednesday and Friday and is taking over from Laura who will now be teaching at Stoke Park Club.

"I have been teaching swimming for the last fifteen years. I come from Poland, where I did Physical Education, Swimming Instructor Qualifications and recreational studies. All water sports are passion of mine, but windsurfing and swimming is my real love. I was competitive swimmer for years and also qualified as a lifeguard so I can give my students a sense of security in the pool.
I am very patient and enjoy teaching everyone from 'learn to swim' stages up to competition level. I am enthusiastic and always trying to support my students.   I will do the best to pass on them all my love for swimming" 😊

Sarah

Sarah will be teaching at Stoke Park Club on a Thursday with Amber.

"I was a former regional competitive swimmer swimming for just over 15 years as a member of Windsor swimming club. I'm now undergoing my 3rd and final year at University to become an Adult Nurse.
I am looking forward to becoming a permanent member of the team!"

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Teaching Adults

I have been very fortunate over the years to have met and taught some wonderful people who have come to Dolphin Club for help for a variety of reasons. I have nothing but total respect for those adults who for whatever reason have never learnt to swim or have a great fear of the water,  in taking that first step by contacting us.

On the other hand, we have excellent swimmers who come to us for assistance with maybe their breathing technique, stroke improvement, want to learn a new stroke, perhaps learn how to tumble turn or training for a Triathlon – the choice is endless!

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few stories which I hope you will enjoy and maybe inspire you to learn to swim if this is something you have never done, or maybe improve your swimming for your general wellbeing.

Firstly, I would like to introduce you to Liz with the lovely smile.

Liz could swim a little when she first came along for lessons, but now she can swim front crawl and breast stroke and has improved so much that other Marlow members have commented on her progress which makes us both feel good!

Secondly, this is Mary:

Mary joined to overcome her water phobia, she was a non-swimmer and extremely nervous.  She overcame her problem with putting her face in the water and can now swim a little front crawl, breast stroke and back paddle.  She absolutely loves the water now!

Next, Pam (photo unavailable) joined unable to swim and had never had the courage to have lessons before.  Pam has been amazing and can now swim 50m front crawl and breast stroke and we are now improving technique and stamina. Pam now goes swimming with her daughter, which is fantastic as this is something she has never been able to do before.

Finally, let me introduce you to Lez and Doreen.

Both Lez and Doreen have been with Dolphin Club for a number of years and come weekly for not only their swimming lessons but a social, recreational session.  They have become good friends themselves, and of both mine and Annie and we sometimes go out for meal or the theatre together.

Those were just a few of the lovely adult community members that Dolphin Club supports at both the Marlow Club and Stoke Park.  

We are very proud of you all!
Dave

 

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Day out for Dolphin Club – Try Dive

I have been fortunate enough to have been diving a few times, although a few times were in huge aquariums with sharks. Some of you may ask "why on earth...???" But I have always had a fear and fascination with these creatures and always find it exciting if not a little uneasy on the nerves…….

Then I thought it would be a great experience to take the team to experience a try dive (without sharks!) and as we, for one reason or another had not managed a get together last Christmas, thought a summer trip for those who were brave enough was a great idea! So last Sunday the 10th July, Sophie, Amber, Ed, Nicholas and I all went along to the Scubaducks Dive Centre in Aylesbury.

The centre has a heated indoor pool, which is really more of a tin can with no lid! It was circular and approximately 3m deep. It also had a classroom, a shop selling fins, masks, wet suits, etc, and a fully equipped service centre and air filling station. You can (if interested) take your Paddi qualification and they run numerous courses. They can also arrange diving holidays, which looked great!

The instructors were really professional and helpful and explained the principles of diving together with health and safety information! This in turn helped to make a fun experience. A very enjoyable memorable morning for us all!

I would like to share some photos with you. Just to explain as it is not quite easy to see what we were up to – golf ball and spoon balancing, throwing torpedoes and attempting to throw golf balls into a pot. Not sure why the pot is on my head though????

Dave

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Adopting the IIeach pod of Dolphins

Dave and I have always been passionate about marine life and it gives us great pleasure to advise that Dolphin Club has adopted the IIeach pod of Dolphins, (pronounced Eee-lich) and they live in the Inner Hebridean islands, offthe west coast of Scotland.

Look at these interesting facts –

  • In Britain, dolphins are thought to be resident most of the year in the Moray Firth (Scotland), Cardigan Bay (Wales) and off the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, around 40 Bottlenose dolphins live in the waters of the West coast of Scotland and around 15 more are found in and around the Outer Hebrides.
  • However dolphins are also distributed worldwide throughout tropical temperate waters, and oceanic waters.
  • Some populations of dolphins such as those in the Black Sea and Mediterranean are endangered.
  • There are 32 marine dolphin species in total. The rarest marine dolphin species is the Maui, only 111 are estimated to be left.

You can read some more information about them below and I will be keeping you up to date regarding their progress!

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Keeping Safe Around the Water

I was really saddened to read an article in the paper yesterday explaining how a 2 year old boy had died on the first day of his holiday in Portugal having drowned in the swimming pool of the villa he was staying in with his parents and grandparents. His Mum and Grandma had gone shopping and the little one was left at the villa with Dad and Grandad when this tragedy happened – it takes just minutes.

We brought to your attention at the beginning of June National Water Safety Week and although some of the statistics available are quite shocking, we have to be aware of the dangers of water, even really shallow water. We also must remember that although young children may swim, and appear to be extremely confident they still are unaware of the dangers or their capabilities and that’s why we must be vigilant when our children are in the swimming pool or sea. Dave and I have spent many a summer holiday sitting around a swimming pool on holiday feeling on edge with all that is going on, in fact we end up acting like life guards!

We were on our honeymoon in Florida when one boy of about 10 years came running out of nowhere and dived into what was the shallow end and luckily only slightly concussed himself but Dave got him out of the pool and eventually found his parents.

On a brighter note! We have had feedback from parents, one little boy who got into difficulty in the sea and remembered that if he was unable to breath and was getting a little anxious to turn over and float on his back and managed to calm himself down until dad got to him.

One other occasion, a little boy was walking with his parents one evening by the swimming pool when he fell into the deep end (he was obviously fully clothed) and when he surfaced, he took a breath and swam to the edge of the pool. So if you are sitting on poolside wondering why we go over this, time and time again you know why!

Please be safe this summer!

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