There are many opportunities for talented young swimmers to develop their skills through the coaching programme run by clubs across the county and many of the young people who initially learnt to swim at Lonsdale and Gayton pools have now progressed to a wide range of clubs.
These include eight-year-old Abbie Tunnicliffe who is now a member of Long Eaton Swimming Club having completed the various grades at Lonsdale Pool.
Abbie’s mum Helen explained: “We were keen that Abbie should learn to swim and she started when she was three-years-old at Lonsdale. At the first lesson, Abbie cried for the first 20 minutes but her teacher Lynn was brilliant and encouraged her to join in. She has never looked back since and swam her first length when she was four.
“Having progressed through all the different stages, the Coach for Derby Phoenix Swimming Club spotted Abbie one day and thought she was strong enough for squad level. We went along to watch Derby Phoenix train and Abbie loved what she saw. We however decided that a club closer to home would be our best option and joined Long Eaton.
“The great thing about swimming is that there is a clear pathway to develop youngsters and plenty of opportunities for them to progress and compete if they want to.
“Swimming also teaches good discipline and it has built up Abbie’s confidence and strength immensely.
“Most importantly, she loves it and, although it is big time commitment, as long as she is happy and committed, then we are keen to support her. Learning to swim at Lonsdale has opened so many doors for Abbie and who knows what she will progress onto.”