Like many parents in Bingley, my two sons have been having lessons with Swim Stars for many many years. To be honest, it’s the one thing I don’t mind spending money on – swimming lessons really are a right of childhood, and there was no way I was going to wait until my children were in year 5. Having accompanied many year 5 classes myself to swimming lessons as a teacher, I always felt sorry for the children floundering in the water because their parents weren’t able to have them attend lessons from an earlier age (I’m not judging – some people I guess genuinely can’t afford it).
Aside from the embarrassment factor of not being able to swim, swimming is clearly really good for us all for a variety of reasons – health, fitness, that feel good factor as well as simple survival if the need ever arose! Although I learned to swim as a child, I’m still not really a strong swimmer, and I know if my children got into trouble in the water I would probably struggle to rescue them safely. Another good reason for them to learn to swim to a good standard! We chose Swim Stars because of its good reputation locally, and also due to the simple fact that it was our nearest provider. We did try the council run lessons for a while, but I didn’t think that the boys were making any progress due to the large class sizes so we moved – a good decision!
So a little bit of info about Swim Stars…
“The Swim Stars story started in 2000 when we were known as ‘C.A swim school’ we started with just 5 swimmers, and have gone from strength to strength, we now have over 800 pupils across our 3 pools…..and we are still growing!
We pride ourselves on having some of the best teachers in the area, who are devoted to giving all our swimmers personal attention whilst developing excellent relationships with both children and parents.
From the first lessons as a beginner where time is spent encouraging confidence in the water, to mastering the perfect stroke with our more experienced swimmers- we aim to make each lesson as fun and rewarding as possible.
Our lessons are carried out with no more than 6 pupils per lesson. (4 at our Hazelbeck and Cragg Vale pools) with water based instructors at all pools. Private 1:1 lessons are also available as well as adult lessons on request.”
It’s worth knowing that lessons also take place at Bingley Grammar school if you prefer. The pool at Hazelbeck is a hydro pool which means it is quite a warm pool and atmosphere – great for the swimmers but worth knowing for parents as you’ll need to wear a thin t shirt during the session for sure!
My boys both started at Swim Stars being unable to swim at all – my second son particularly has made really good progress and even though he’s only 5 (Swim Stars take children from 2.5 years old though), he can swim a length under water unaided and is really water confident. My older son has struggled a bit more (it’s just the way he is!) but under the guidance of Louise, he has really focused down to learning his strokes properly to make him a more effective swimmer. As well as teaching children the correct swimming techniques – children also get to have some free swim and jumping in at the end. Though the lessons themselves are “fun” based – unlike the lessons we as parents perhaps remember as children ourselves! The groups are really small – usually around 4 in each group, so each child gets personal attention from the instructors, and they are taught according to their own ability, rather than the ability of others in the group – although the groups are put together according to age and ability.
The instructors are really “child friendly” though know when to be strict when it’s appropriate – to ensure that the children make progress. The lessons seem to build on the children’s skills each week so that children clearly progress through a range of skills and strokes. There are badges and certificates when children achieve certain things which I think is a nice motivation!
My boys both really enjoy their lessons and have really bonded with their instructors – which is really cute to see! They really look forward to their lessons and as a parent I get a real sense of satisfaction from knowing that we’ve provided something for them that is going to last a lifetime.
Swim Stars also run crash courses during the holidays which we’ve attended a few times. With this, children attend each morning for a week – I have to say that the progress during that week is incredible, which just goes to show how important regular swimming is.
Lesson places are now currently available, and if you’re not signed up already, I really urge you to think about it. If you just pay for one thing for your child – this should be it.
Contact Swim Stars on:-
Or visit their website over at http://www.ukswimstars.com/
Swim Stars are a site sponsor of Bingley Mums, but all thoughts are my own.