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Swimming - it's never too late to learn

Published: 27th July 2017

Fear of the water and poor technique are two of the main reasons why people shy away from swimming. Yet it’s a skill, along with riding a bike or learning to drive, that you probably should possess. And it’s never too late to learn.

Inspiration
Take inspiration from Michael Tubridy (62), for example, who started swimming in the sea about six years ago. “I started going to the 40 foot. Because the water is deep I decided I wanted to learn to swim competently so I did some lessons.” 

Michael, who took out life membership of the sports facilities here in Trinity as a student years ago, decided to take some lessons with Greg Dalton earlier this year.

“Before sessions with Greg I had very poor technique; with a lot of effort I could swim 20 or 30 lengths, occasionally 40. There's a beach in Connemara where I swim regularly. It's approximately 600m long and I wanted to be able to swim it comfortably.”

Another person who decided it was time to learn how to swim is Liz Gleeson, who trained with Greg for a 10-week period earlier this year.

Panic
“I decided to get lessons because I was embarrassed that I couldn't swim. I wanted to be able to go on holidays and feel comfortable in the pool,” says Liz. “I could keep myself afloat but I would panic if I wasn't near the edge of a pool.” 

Since taking lessons, Liz’s technique and distance have both improved. “I’m now a confident swimmer, I'm not afraid of the deep end which is a huge deal for me. I can use swimming as a way to keep fit which I'm really proud of after just 10 weeks!”

Treasa Kelly is another sea swimmer who wanted to improve her technique. “I love the sea and I love swimming in the sea even if I'm not so good,” she says.

She found Greg to be hugely encouraging during their twice weekly lessons. As for her standard of swimming now, she says that she is improving all the time. “I’ve a lot more work to do to get to a decent standard but I’m enjoying it more.”

  • If you’d like to gain more confidence in the water, or even learn to swim from scratch, contact Michelle Convey for details of the various options available, conveym@tcd.ie, 01-896 4823