Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

SNZ and Halberg helping people with disabilities become qualified swimming teachers

Alice Leslie, who has spina bifida and is in a wheelchair, has been working her way towards becoming a qualified swimming teacher as part of a programme with the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation and Swimming New Zealand to get people with physical disabilities working as swimming teachers.

Through funding Swimming New Zealand received from the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Leslie has been able to take part in two of the education courses offered by Swimming New Zealand.

The 22 year old education student first took part in the Swim Teacher Award (STA) course in Wellington with Swim Safe Advisor Sarah Gibbison.

After really enjoying this course she was keen to broaden her swim teaching skills and more recently took part in the School Age and Adult course with Swim Safe Advisor Fiona Hurley.

“I have enjoyed both courses; they were a lot more in-depth than I thought they would be,” Leslie said.

“I didn't realise how much was involved in teaching swimming, but since seeing swimming classes in action, I see the relevance of everything I have learnt.

“I am enjoying seeing the similarities between what is happening in the pool and my personal education studies at Victoria University - specifically in the areas of recognising learning styles and behaviours.”

Leslie is currently observing classes at Kilbirnie Pool as part of the STA post course requirements.

Upon completion of the STA post course requirements she will hold the National Certificate in Recreation and Sport (Aquatics) - Swim Education. This is an entry level qualification to become a swimming teacher.

Leslie is very keen to start putting her new skills to use as soon as she is qualified, already putting plans in place to teach a group of young men with help from her friend who is already a qualified instructor at the Wellington City Council.