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Learning to Swim by Kate McDougall

April 26, 2016

Before I retired from full-time work three years ago I made a ‘Bucket List’. Top of my long list was ‘learn to swim properly’.

I was very fortunate. I grew up in the 1950s. We lived at Largs, quite close to the beach and along with most of the kids in our street we spent all day, every summer at the beach. I loved to swim, although to call what I did in the water swimming would be a gross exaggeration. Dawn Fraser was my heroine.

Although I attended the annual ‘Learn to Swim’ campaigns for several years, I never managed to master the art of placing my face in the water while I swam.

Before I retired from full-time work three years ago I made a ‘Bucket List’. Top of my long list was ‘learn to swim properly’. I made futile inquiries until I came into STARplex: “Yes. We do adult learn-to-swim-lessons”.

I immediately signed up for the once a week classes. The instructor, Janet, was very patient. The class was small, sometimes only two or three of us and never more than five pupils. In no time I was confident in keeping my head under water. Then I learned the correct strokes. Lately I have attended the classes that are held at STARplex for five days straight each school holidays. The instructors (Toni, Vanessa, Deb) have all been brilliant! By the end of the week I am usually exhausted but very satisfied with my acquired skills and progress. I can now do laps of crawl (freestyle) and backstroke, slow of course, but I can swim and enjoy myself. I am currently learning breaststroke and then I hope next to master butterfly! Well you can dream…can’t you?

Kate McDougall