Coach wants to see everyone swimming
Scott Wilson wants the Dash Swim School to be the best in the region and says Cannons Creek Pool is tailor-made for his lofty goal.
The programme manager has more than 28 years in the industry to back his aim. He started out working at a new swim school in Canberra in 1980, soaking up the success and confidence bred into Australian sport, before bringing what he learnt back home to New Zealand in 1993.
‘‘What I learnt in Australia was important for my own development. I was able to get to that elite level of coaching. My philosophy is around understanding why parents want their kids to swim and realising the great safety and social aspects there are to swimming. It’s a lifetime skill. You can do it at school and when you’re 70 – what we need to do is provide a structured environment to learn.’’
Mr Wilson ran the first ‘ learn to swim’ school in Wellington, out of the Boys and Girls Institute pool in Wellington, before Foodstuffs bought the site and demolished it in 2008. The disappointment over this – some kids were giving up swimming as a result – led him to take time out from the industry. But when the opportunity in Cannons Creek arose last year, ‘‘it was too good not to consider’’.
The pool is now geared towards school groups and the Dash Swim programme, with extra instructors employed to cope with swelling numbers through the door.
Few schools still retain their own pools due to costs and the strict health and safety regulations, which has increased the importance of council-run pools.
‘‘This is a great facility, a fantastic resource for Porirua. The size is perfect to cater for infants putting their faces into the water for the first time, through to your competi- tive swimmers we are creating pathways for. I’m confident in saying this will be the best swim school in the region.’’
Top of his wishlist would be for every man, woman and child in Porirua to be able to swim.
He despairs at the high numbers of Kiwis that don’t know how, pointing out that being assured in the water, whether it’s a pool or in the sea, can have positive off-shoots for self-confidence, self-esteem and health.
‘‘I’m passionate about people getting in the water, having fun and being safe. We’re surrounded by water in this country, after all.’’
Driving Dash: The instructors at Cannons Creek Pool-based Dash Swim School will be receiving the benefits of Scott Wilson’s experience. He believes he has the passion to make the programme one of the region’s best.