For as long as I can remember, water has been my passion
After scaring my mum to death several times by jumping straight into the deep end with no armbands on, she thought she’d better get me into some swimming lessons. She then joined me up to train with my local swimming club. Something I still do now despite the 5am starts.
It was at the end of one of these lessons I saw the scuba divers come onto poolside. I’ve never seen anything so exciting in my life and I knew I had to be a diver too. Not easy when you’re only 10 years old.
Every summer’s day of my teenage years I spent at the open-air pool in Banbury. Eventually working there, full time, as a lifeguard and loving every second of it. However, at some point you have to grow up and get a proper job.
I’d had a wonderful time travelling the world on cruise ships teaching fitness classes. I then found myself working a hateful job, when I overheard two of my staff discussing how hard it was to find a decent swimming teacher.
That was my lightbulb moment! By the end of that day I’d booked onto my first course and have never looked back since. As soon as I qualified and had just enough work to pay my mortgage, I handed my notice in to my full-time job, 11th October 1999. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
That was when Mad Fish Swim School was born. Year on year the swim school has grown, and new teachers have joined me until we are now a team of twelve.
I knew I’d love being in the pool for a living but the unexpected part for me was the joy of teaching children. To watch a child blossom as they learn new skills, they’d thought impossible is such a privilege. There’s nothing quite as fulfilling as meeting a child for their first lesson full of fear, to then see them skip away full of delight counting their sleeps until next time!