Pool’s new swim teaching partnership
When new year swim classes recommence at Palmerston North’s West End Aquatic Centre, students and their parents can be excused if they don’t recognise the place.
Over December and January, the indoor swimming centre has undergone a refurbishment. The makeover includes a spruced up and rearranged reception area.
‘‘When we closed over the holidays, we had a big refit,’’ said West End’s Carla L’Huillier.
‘‘The place has been jooshed up. Reception has been changed around with a homework and a TV area, and the changing rooms have also been refitted. It’ll be quite different.’’
There is one other major difference that shouldn’t have any direct effect on swimmers. The Nicholls Swim Academy learn-toswim classes, run by Margaret and Trevor Nicholls since 1985, are under new management.
With son Andrew, the Nicholls decided to move away from learnto-swim classes to focus solely on competitive swim coaching.
When the pool reopens next week, the beginners classes will be run by Auckland-based company, Hilton Brown Swimming.
Founded by 60s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Hilton Brown, the company has been part of the Auckland learn- to-swim scene since 1973. It now operates schools in three Auckland locations, as well as in Hamilton and Havelock North.
L’Huillier said the 11 Nicholls Swim Academy instructors were offered positions with Hilton Brown, and she expected it to be business as usual, with familiar instructors teaching the youngsters, and some who not so young, essential water skills, confidence and competency.
‘‘Especially as this is the season when kids and their parents should be focused on their swimming abilities.’’
Under Hilton Brown, L’Huillier said the basic swim programmes would only change slightly.
Kiwi West Aquatics will still be run by the Nicholls.
‘‘Hilton Brown Swimming does learn-to-swim incredibly well,’’ Trevor Nicholls said.
‘‘We’re both family businesses and Hilton and I have known each other for around 40 years. It’s a logical partnership, and we’re excited to welcome the Hilton Brown school to our pool.’’
The school accepts swim students from babies of 3 months to adults, and opens on January 30.
West End Aquatic swim instructor Janice Rumbal with Penelope Wrenn, 5, and Edward Anderson, 7,