Develop a Deeper Understanding of Waterphobia

Benefit from STA member’s discount & train to be an Aquaphobia Coach

STA is teaming up with the UK Academy of Swimming (trading as to give members the opportunity to train to become an Aquaphobia Coach (A.C) using a specialist new teaching programme that has been designed to help people who have an inherent fear of the water.

Created by the UK Academy of Swimming, the Aquaphobia Learning Programme (ALP) is a 12-step progressive programme that swimming teachers can use to help aquaphobic, weak or non-swimmers overcome their fear of water. Part of this is the Certificate in Teaching Aquaphobics (CTA), which has been developed with the support of a main national operator, and top industry and academic professionals from the UK and Germany.

Master Coach, Mike Burman LIII, who created ALP said:

“The aim is to give people, of all ages, confidence and control in the water by breaking down the many barriers to participation, with the staged programme focussing on both the psychological and physical dimensions of well executed swimming.”

Uniquely, ALP focusses on eliminating and desensitising fear in a safe and sensitive way, with the physical mechanics of teaching swimming skills being secondary. By going through the ALP’s 12 steps, the goal is to teach a participant how to relax, float, feel happy so they can start enjoying the numerous benefits that being in water brings to each individual.

“We take great pleasure in seeing how every action learnt within the lessons can bring a great deal of pleasure to a person and how it can represent a milestone in achievement for them,” added Mike.

For swimming teachers wanting to develop their knowledge and train to become an A.C, the ALP also offers an innovative approach to digital learning with the programme supported by an APP set in a 3D virtual leisure centre; there is a reception area, a classroom, a changing room, café and a virtual pool. These are all the key touch points within a leisure centre for an aquaphobic, and swimming teachers will be guided through the content, engaging with real-life swimming characters along the way.

Adding to the learning experience, avatars are used in the 3D pool area to bring ALP’s 12 steps to life, and users can interact and even dive into the water for a fully immersive experience.

Mike confirms: “National research from 2016, has shown that there are many millions of people who are too scared to go into a swimming pool or a leisure centre due to a fear of water and aquatic activity. Over the years we have taught many people who do not like going into a bath or even putting their faces under a shower due to the fear of choking.
With society changing and moving so quickly we are undertaking qualitative and quantitative research into how aquaphobia numbers have been affected by migration and politics in 2019. The new research will reflect upon social economic, mental health issues and disabilities, in addition to the effects of social exclusion (personal and family) upon health and individual wellness.”

“The aim is to give people, of all ages, confidence and control in the water by breaking down the many barriers to participation, with the ALP staged programme focussing on both the psychological and physical dimensions of being calm and content in any aquatic situation, whether that is in a pool or in the sea,” said Mike.

“We are therefore delighted to be working with STA, a national governing body for swimming teaching, along with other key partners. Together, by widening the learning opportunities for swimming teachers in the UK, we can make a positive difference in helping more people enjoy all the benefits of the water without feeling frightened,” added Mike.

As part of STA’s charity objective ‘preserving human life by the teaching of swimming, lifesaving and survival techniques’, Dave Candler, STA’s CEO, is looking forward to making a significant difference with

He said: “For people with a fear or an intense fear of the water, the teacher:student relationship is built around trust and for it to be successful, it requires the learning process to be more than just the teaching of swimming skills. This is why we support the ALP programme because the syllabus provides a deeper understanding of water phobia, and through the interactive APP it shows teachers how they can positively break down mental and physical barriers. With this level of specialist knowledge, our teachers can help more people gain water confidence and learn vital lifesaving skills, in line with our charity objective.”

The Aquaphobia Learning Programme (ALP) is divided into two levels – Aquaphobia Coach: CPD1 Digital Edition (establishes swimming teachers as an A.C), which can be followed by an Advanced Aquaphobia Coach Face-to-Face seminar. Both are endorsed by CIMSPA, with 5 CPD points awarded for each on successful completion. They each also qualify for 1 STA CPD Point.

STA Member Discounts

Aquaphobia Coach: CTA CPD1 Digital Edition

As part of STA’s partnership with, members will be able to receive a 10% discount on the Aquaphobia Coach: CTA CPD1 Digital Edition. The learning content takes place within a 3D Virtual Leisure Centre which is viewable on iPhones, Tablets, PC’s, Macs, and Android technology. Learning time is approx. 10 hours. Priced at £44.99 it also gives the user lifetime access to the 3D Virtual Leisure Centre, e-certification, 5 CIMSPA CPD points and 1 STA CPD point. Recommended for Level 2 Swimming Teachers.

More information

Advanced Aquaphobia Coach: CTA CPD 2 Face-to-Face Training Seminar

A 10% discount is also available for STA members wanting to attend the Advanced Aquaphobia Coach: CTA CPD 2 Face-to-Face Training Seminar (completion of CPD1 is a prerequisite to attendance). This half-day CPD, priced at £90, is a tutor-led training session that further expands upon the theoretical elements of CPD1 in a classroom environment, allowing for discussion and an interactive learning experience with other like-minded swimming professionals. 5 CIMPSA CPD points and 1 STA CPD will be awarded on completion.

More information

Members can access the STA / Waterphobia discount codes through the resources section on STA Online.

Digital, Member News, Swimming Teaching

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