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SLT’S ‘Stand up for Swimming’ Success

Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) staff are in the swim of things, despite a crippling swimming teaching shortage in the UK.

Eight of them from across SLT’s Wednesbury, Cradley Heath and Oldbury centres have just passed the Swimming Teacher Full Course (Level 2) certificate, which expands their expertise to teach competitive strokes, survival and rescue skills, diving, plus racing starts and turns – and enables them to teach non-swimmers through to advanced participants.

This much needed and welcomed up-skilling is part of the STAnd Up For Swimming initiative by educational charity the STA, which has pledged over £10,000 of funding to train hundreds of new teachers for free around the UK.

The exciting move to improve grassroots swimming across the borough follows the announcement that another SLT employee, Emma Griffin based at Langley Swimming Centre in Oldbury, has achieved STA Aquatics; Full Swimming Teacher Tutor status following a rigorous assessment period.

SLT Business & Commercial Manager, Mark Wildman, said: “The industry has a major challenge with recruiting swimming teachers, but in Sandwell we are successfully growing our own and with two excellent tutors to run courses – in the established Keith Willetts who trained our enlightened eight, plus newly qualified Emma – this is a great step forward.

“We already have our next STAnd Up for Swimming teaching course taking place in October Half Term due to the success of the initial one. Swimming is very important as a life skill for everyone and is a top priority in Sandwell.

“Special thanks to the STA as well, because their free training meant we were able to fund an internal course for staff to support our own swimming lessons programme – as post pandemic staffing issues were in danger of having a detrimental effect.”

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SLT Aquatics Tutor Keith Willetts (centre) with left to right: Bryn Minhas, Kate Harrison, Lucy Bossons, Jaipreet Waraich, Maisie Hughes, Jill Reed, Daniel Roache and Rachel Hawkins

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