Pri­vate swim school ready to make a big splash

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The first pri­vate swim­ming school in Kar­ratha has opened, of­fer­ing chil­dren and par­ents the op­tion of smaller and qui­eter classes for learn­ing to swim.

Bul­garra’s Splish Splash Swim­ming School is based at a heated, shaded and fully fenced 10m-long pool founded by for­mer Auck­land pro­fes­sional swim­mer, wa­ter polo player, dive master and qual­i­fied swim­ming in­struc­tor Joanne Nell.

It opened for lessons last week af­ter the web­site book­ing sys­tem went live.

Ms Nell said as a life­long “wa­ter baby”, she had wanted to set up a pri­vate swim­ming school to help peo­ple of all ages learn to swim in a more fo­cused en­vi­ron­ment than most pub­lic pools could pro­vide.

“Pri­vate (swim­ming schools) have in­de­pen­dently the ca­pac­ity for smaller classes, whereas in the big­ger com­plexes you can some­times have sev­eral lessons run­ning at once — you’ve got sev­eral in­struc­tors, whis­tles, chil­dren jump­ing out, run­ning off and par­ents are los­ing their minds,” she said. “At a pri­vate swim school, we still fol­low the Royal Life Sav­ing WA pro­gram but . . . we are able to adapt our les­son plans.

“We can cater for pretty much any­one’s needs.”

The school of­fers swim­ming classes in Royal Life Sav­ing WA stages one to five for in­fants, chil­dren and teenagers, adults and peo­ple with spe­cial needs, as well as aqua-aer­o­bics. Its pool can be heated to a max­i­mum of 36C and is sur­rounded by a perime­ter fence dec­o­rated by brightly painted sea crea­tures to help chil­dren stay en­gaged.

Ms Nell said set­ting up and get­ting ap­provals for all the nec­es­sary pool ameni­ties and equip­ment had been a seven-month process, but the level of pub­lic in­ter­est in a pri­vate school had been “phe­nom­e­nal”.

“We put an ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est on Face­book back in De­cem­ber be­fore we thought we’d go ahead, just to check the mar­ket, and there were about 200-odd peo­ple who replied about four hours af­ter (it was posted),” she said.

To book for a class, go to splish­splash­swim­

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Splish Splash Swim­ming School teacher Joanne Nell in the newly opened pool with stu­dents, back, Char­lie Divola, 6 months, Kailee De Largie, 10, Isla Rowe, 9, and Kade Rowe and Tayte Gravett, both 11, front, Mia Nell, 4, Jhett Holden, 5, and Levi Holden, 4.

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