Mansfield Swim Teacher Loving Life After Career Change

Mar 02, 2024 | Blog

A swim teacher from Mansfield says teaching children the vital life skill of swimming has given her a new lease of life.

Mel Morgan-West, 47, and from Mansfield, had been working in a schools’ kitchen when she saw an email saying that Water Meadows Leisure Complex and Rebecca Adlington Leisure Centre were looking for people to work in their pools.

“At first I looked at becoming a lifeguard”, recalls Mel. “But then I scrolled down and saw the benefit I could have as a swim teacher. Children will benefit because they’re learning a life skill and I’ll get true job satisfaction from that.

“Me and my brother used to go swimming in the summers, so the pool environment brings back some lovely memories.

“Due to my family circumstances, I really benefit from a flexible work life so the freedom of the hours of being a swim teacher really helped.

“My two kids have gone through the Swim England framework, so I feel it’s my duty to ensure I put on the best possible lessons for the children I’m teaching. I’ve been the parent watching on from the side, so I need to make sure the parents have the confidence in me to teach their child.”

After passing her STA Level 2 in Swim Teaching, Mel began picking up shifts at both Water Meadows and Rebecca Adlington Leisure Centre and finds that every day is a school day on pool side. Mel said: “I love learning and being able to deal with challenging situations as I think that makes me become a better teacher. Learning about the children and how each of them learn is fascinating to me and I’m really enjoying providing them with the tools they need to be safe in the water.”

Mel also describes the feeling of pride when she sees her students do something they didn’t think they could. She said: “There was a particular little boy who hated the water.

“He’d come to the lessons, and he’d cling on to the side. Five weeks later, he swam from one side of the pool to the other. You see him on lessons now and he’s like a different child.

“It’s incredible what these kids can do when you give them the confidence they need.

“I just love working with the children – I’m not doing this job because I have to, I’m doing it because I love it.”

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