Individuality Swimming, a swim school serving 2,300 people across Dorset each week, has won the STAr Swim School Provider Award at the Swimming Teacher Association’s (STA’s) first-ever Aquatic Excellence Awards.
The UK-wide award was open to all organisations who deliver learn-to-swim programmes, taking into consideration how the operator has implemented innovative learn-to-swim strategies that have expanded the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities in their communities to learn a key life skill.
The judges also looked for examples of how the organisation has delivered best practices in swimming teaching through training, education and career development.
Individuality Swimming’s mission is to provide supportive, individualised learning for all, believing it’s never too early or late to learn, especially in a coastal community.
Their offer includes Aqua Natal classes, parent and baby sessions, small group swimming, with no more than five children in a group and one-to-one teaching. Teachers are free to adapt lessons to match their swimmers needs and are encouraged to have their own style, so learners can be matched with the appropriate teacher.
With 87 staff, serving 2300 clients aged from 4 weeks to 87 years, in 12 locations across Dorset, with 837 sessions running over seven days a week, they offer massive choice and flexibility allowing them to reach as many people as possible.
Kristin Maguire, who founded Individuality Swimming more than 20 years ago, said:
“I have been teaching people to swim my whole life and Individuality Swimming was founded on my desire to share my passion and help as many people as possible not only learn to swim but love to swim.
“To win this award feels absolutely amazing. It shows that we’re absolutely on the right track with our ethos and approach and we’re delivering the kind of excellence that sets us apart in the sector. I am so proud of my team – this is a testament to their hard work and commitment most of all.”
Individuality Swimming also has its own Approved Training Centre, with seven tutors on the team offering a multitude of development opportunities for its own staff, as well as training external students. It has already trained 65 swimming teachers. The centre was a finalist in running for the UK STAr Approved Training Centre award as well.
“We are passionate about helping as many people as we can gain water confidence and learn to swim and I truly believe our personalised approach, creating a safe, supportive, environment, is the best way.
“To be able to train a new generation of swimming teachers, who share our ethos and emphasis on high standards of teaching and individualised experiences, is a huge privilege.”
The inaugural STAr Aquatic Excellence awards presentation evening took place during an informal ceremony on Friday, October 13th 2023 at the STA’s national conference in Leicester.