Sponsor backs scheme that helped him

LOCAL estate agent Jonathan Waters is sponsoring Crown Pools' swim development programme after he was taught to swim himself through the scheme.The swim development programme provides either group or one-to-one lessons from the very beginner upwards, to both adults and children.

LOCAL estate agent Jonathan Waters is sponsoring Crown Pools' swim development programme after he was taught to swim himself through the scheme.

The swim development programme provides either group or one-to-one lessons from the very beginner upwards, to both adults and children. However the long-running project faced closure after a major sponsor pulled out a few years ago. With the scheme having gone a year without any financial backing, Waters stepped forward to lend the backing of his small business.

He said: “I have never really had a fear of the water as such, but when I was at primary school I just got put off because we used to have to swim in an open-air pool that was freezing cold. In fact, I distinctly remember the teacher breaking the ice on the surface with a broom handle once! So part of this sponsorship deal was that I would be taught to swim at the age of 40. I could only do some basic swimming before then and could just about make a length. From early November 2004 to January 2005 I went along for an hour's lesson every Friday and it really gave me renewed confidence. Now I go swimming three or four times a week and last year, over an 11-week period, I was able to swim the equivalent length of the channel, 1412 lengths I think, about 22 miles.”

Now, as part of his sponsorship of the programme, Waters will present quarterly awards to pupils who its instructors feel are worthy of special praise.

Waters continued: “I think for adults, it is getting over the stigma of it. People think 'I'm in my 40s, I'm going to look silly and everyone will be watching me', but there must be hundreds of people thinking just like that who don't make that first step.

“The instructors are doing a fantastic job, there must be an awful lot of patience involved. What I found amazing was not just how I increased my distance, but how quickly I increased my speed too. I went from doing a length in 40 seconds to 20 seconds in just four or five weeks.”

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For anybody interested in learning to swim, please contact the swim development programme manager Mike Bourne on 01473 433651 ext. 240 or e-mail mike.bourne@ipswich.gov.uk

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