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,

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