As you know for our 90th anniversary year, we have launched a campaign called STAnd Up for Swimming in direct response to the UK swimming teacher shortage; and I’m pleased to report with this being National Careers Week, that the free training we pledged from our own charity funds back in November is already starting to have a positive impact – by the end of April we are on schedule to have more than 100 newly qualified Level 2 Award swimming teachers.
In April alone, we so far have six STAnd Up for Swimming courses planned that are all fully subscribed, in London, the South East, East Midlands, North East, East Anglia and the West Midlands.
Moving in to the second quarter of the year, from May we also have STAnd Up for Swimming courses organised for Devon, Cranleigh, Bury, Hinkley, Cardiff, Northampton, Essex, Sunderland, Yorkshire and Scotland. In the pipeline, yet to be finalised, are courses in Carmarthen, Huntingdon, Bolton, Mansfield, Aylesbury, Maidstone, Basingstoke, Northern Ireland and Birmingham.
Potentially that’s another 325+ qualified swimming teachers joining the industry – and from a course organisational point, we are still only in March!
Later this year, after Ramadan, we are also planning to organise two separate STAnd Up for Swimming women’s only courses in Leeds and Surrey, for organisations that provide lessons for adult learners from diverse backgrounds.
This is a gigantic organisational effort for a small charity like STA; matching hundreds of nominees with available venues and tutors takes a great deal of time, and I’d like to thank the STA team for all their hard work in pulling this together, with a special mention to Janine Ricketts in centre administration.
Thank you as well to all the tutors, assessors and venues that have kindly offered us their support and time, and our sponsors – this really is an amazing team effort.
By working together to tackle the swimming teacher shortage, using just our own limited funds and resources, I’m proud that we are starting to make a difference for the benefit of grassroots swimming.
For STA as a charity, the more teachers we can train, the more opportunities there will be for people to access swimming lessons and learn a life skill – this is what is important.
If you are a tutor or assessor that would like to get involved in STAnd Up for Swimming, or a swim school (open to all swim schools not just STA affiliates) with potential learners you’d like to nominate for a free place on a training course, please visit here for all the details.