Swim instructors are encouraging others to take the plunge and join their number.

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure (ERCL) is working in partnership with Scottish Swimming to deliver a new SSTQ Level 7 teaching qualification.

The five-week teacher training course starts next month and will take place online and at Barrhead Foundry and Eastwood Park Leisure Centre pools.

Barrhead News: Harry CoyleHarry Coyle (Image: Sourced)

Harry Coyle from Barrhead has worked part-time as a swim instructor with ERCL for almost five years and teaches at Barrhead Foundry.

The Glasgow University sports science student told the Barrhead News: “"I started teaching swimming when I was sixteen.

“I did my swim teacher training course in July and then started working for ERCL in August.

"I've seen so many kids come from being a toddler all the way through to swim skills 4, our top level.

"It's great to see kids come through the programme, getting really good at swimming and knowing they started that with me.

"I think everyone should be able to swim, mainly from a safety point of view. It's a good life skill for safety but also for kids getting into a sport. A lot of kids also make friends during their lessons too."

Barrhead News: Olivia ClarkOlivia Clark (Image: Sourced)

Olivia Clark, meanwhile, is studying law and Spanish at Strathclyde University.

She gained her swim instructor qualification last year and started working as an instructor in January.

The 19-year-old teaches several classes each week at Barrhead Foundry and Eastwood Park Leisure.

She added: "I went to Eastwood Park Leisure swimming lessons myself from a young age because my mum was really eager for me to learn how to swim.

“I was in lessons until I was about nine and then did a diving course. I never pursued it competitively but I always loved swimming. It's a really useful skill to have.

"It's a brilliant job and I would definitely recommend becoming a swimming teacher.

"One of the best things about being a swim teacher is seeing the progress they make and your impact on that.

"Doing the swim teacher training course was such a brilliant experience, I still talk to everyone from that course. I would recommend anyone get involved in it."

Barrhead News: Olivia and one of her classesOlivia and one of her classes (Image: Sourced)

ERCL runs three courses every year, which are open to those over 16 years of age.

The next SSTQ course starts on June 26 and runs to July 20.

Candidates are required to complete time shadowing swimming lessons before the course starts.

Once the qualification is complete, participants can source employment as a swimming instructor with ERCL's Swimming Development Team.

Anthony McReavy from ERCL said: "Swimming is hugely popular in East Renfrewshire and we're delighted to train our future swimming teachers to ensure we can continue delivering the best quality programme for young swimmers."

To find out more and apply click here