Aspiring swim teachers can learn how to support the next generation thanks to a six-week Scottish Swimming Teaching Qualification Course (SSTQ) starting in the new year.

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure (ERCL), in partnership with the national body for the sport, has announced that the next opportunity to gain the SCQF Level 7 award will begin on January 31 and run until March 2.

The course combines online training with practical learning at Barrhead and Neilston Leisure Centre swimming pools, where candidates will shadow current swimming teachers in the water and support children during Learn to Swim lessons.

The sessions are led by Danielle Brayson, who was awarded the UK Coaching Performance Development Coach of the Year in 2019 and is head coach of the City of Glasgow swim team, training junior international swimmers. 

Danielle, who has worked with Commonwealth Games medallists, told the Barrhead News: “The SSTQ is a vocational course and our swimming teachers work alongside our qualified teachers, experience working with children in the pool from day one, lesson plan and learn and teach water safety as well as developing all four swimming strokes.

“It is the equivalent of an advanced Higher and counts towards university applications.

"The course has been running for four years now and we've welcomed participants of all different ages, abilities and backgrounds, from non-swimmers to club swimmers who compete.

“We are also looking for people who are retired and have spare time on their hands.”

Barrhead News: AlannaAlanna (Image: East Renfrewshire Leisure and Culture)

The course supports the high demand for children’s swimming lessons in the area.

Indeed, currently around 3,200 young people participate in the ERCL’s swimming lesson programme, offered at the four pools in the local authority.

“The main requirement is to be comfortable in the water. Many participants develop their own swimming skills as part of the course,” added Danielle.

“They all undertake theoretical and practical learning and can supervise a class competently by the end.

"It's fantastic to see their progression, developing from the start of the course through to becoming fully qualified swim teachers who make swimming fun for children, while they develop their skills and confidence in the water."

Previous participant Alanna Connelly has now secured a role as a swimming teacher with ERCL, following the course.

Alanna developed her own skills during the course, learning the butterfly stroke and how to dive.

The swim teacher said: "I know lots of adults that can't swim. I think it's a skill that everyone should learn.

"I was quite apprehensive at first because I was one of the older ones (on the course) but it was great.

“I've not come from a swim background or been in a swim team, but I have learned new skills in the water as part of the course, including diving and the butterfly stroke, so I'm able to break this down and teach others.

"The kids in the classes are really good fun and you can see the progress from week to week.

"My own kids are grown up now so it's good to give something back."

To get involved click HERE