Beautiful, sunny Brisbane — capital city of Queensland (the 'sunshine state' of Australia) and recently announced host of the 2032 Olympic Games.

As with most Olympic host cities, there will be a lot of refurbishing of existing venues and sports facilities, including 'the Gabba' — located in the Brisbane suburb of Woolloongabba, this is the home of cricket and Queensland's premier sports stadium — and a number of major new venues to be built.

One of these will be a brand new, 15,000-seat aquatic facility, built to host the water polo and swimming events in 2032.

How many Australian swimmers came from Queensland?
Many of the best swimmers Australia has produced were born in Queensland | Source: Pixabay - fancycrave1

For the most part, when it comes to Olympic sports, Australia's greatest strength lies in swimming. Being the 'sunshine state' and known for its kilometres of beaches and other waterways, it comes as no surprise that a large number of successful Australian swimmers grew up in Queensland.

The likes of swimming stars such as Kieran Perkins, Susie O'Neill, Grant Hackett and Stephanie Rice were and continue to be role models for young Australian swimmers, both in Brisbane and throughout the rest of the country.

Apart from the glory, learning to swim is also an essential life skill, particularly if you live near the beach.

What factors do you need to take into account when you're looking for somewhere to learn to swim? And where are the best places to start taking swimming lessons in Brisbane?

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Five Essential Qualities of a Swimming Teacher

Swimming is a fun activity that most children love. However, it only takes one bad experience in the water to potentially put a child, or an adult, off swimming lessons — and not knowing how to swim can be something that could end up putting your safety or the safety of your kids at risk.

For this reason, it's essential that you choose the right teachers and the right swimming school in Brisbane for you or your child.

Here are five factors you should have on your checklist when you're deciding on where to enrol in swimming lessons in Brisbane, or anywhere else for that matter.

Qualifications

With safety at stake, the last thing you want is a swimming instructor who is not adequately qualified.

There are two qualifications that are recognised in Australia — Swim Australia and AUSTSWIM — and you should check that teachers at your swimming school hold one of these. Both of these qualifications, as long as they are current, will ensure teaching staff are properly trained in aquatic safety, survival and rescue skills and that they are proficient swimmers.

Swim teachers should be at least 16 years of age. A current CPR certificate and a Working with Children check are also essential.

Experience

Years of experience does not necessarily equate with delivering good teaching but it can give peace of mind. More experienced swim teachers will often be more flexible with their programs and will possess a greater range of strategies.

They are also more likely to be able to control small groups of children, who often tend to get overexcited during swimming lessons, which can lead to safety issues and, ultimately, a lot less fun.

That being said, younger teachers often resonate more with younger children and a good rapport, especially while you are in the pool, is essential to build trust and confidence.

People Skills

For the child or adult who is nervous about being in the water, swim teachers with whom they don't have a great rapport can just make matters work. Children, as well as adult learners, have to be able to trust their swimming instructors, right from their first private lesson or group class.

Teachers need to be friendly but also be seen to be in charge and possess the skills needed to help their students learn and have the best experience possible.

The ability to explain new skills and techniques is also part of having great people skills when teaching kids and adults how to swim.

Patience

Not everyone will learn new skills at the same rate or in the same way. Learn-to-swim staff must understand this and demonstrate patience while their students are learning and practising. An impatient instructor will never ignite a love of swimming, no matter how much experience they have.

Passionate

Kids know when their teachers don't enjoy teaching — and this includes swimming instructors. Your child will not learn how to swim with an instructor who does not have fun while they are teaching. It also helps if the teachers simply love water and being in the pool.

Why is learning to swim important?
Whether you just want the occasional dip in the pool or enjoy swimming in the ocean, learning to swim is essential | Source: Pixabay - Richard Mcall

Other factors to look out for when choosing a swimming school in Brisbane include small class sizes, evidence of lesson planning and clear communication with parents and students.

Learn to Swim with a Swimming School in Brisbane

Most people tend to turn to swim schools run by pools when they are looking for swimming lessons in Brisbane.

Here are a few, recommended by parent groups, to get you started.

Kingswim — with three locations in Brisbane, Kingswim offers classes and private programs for babies, kids and adult learners at all levels. All staff are fully qualified and the school prides itself on a friendly environment and high rate of success. Squad swimming is also available.

You can find Kingswim schools throughout Australia, including schools in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

The Swim Academy operates out of seven different locations in and around Brisbane. Qualified teachers offer programs and small group lessons teaching water safety skills, stroke development and squad training, with classes available for babies, primary-aged kids, teens and adult learners.

Superfish Swim Schools have friendly teaching staff with programs for all ages and levels, from babies through to adults. They also run squad training and school group lessons, and they operate pool parties (with an emphasis on safety and fun).

Stanford Swim School boasts over 20 years of experience and offers water safety programs, learn to swim lessons and squad training for children from 4 months old up to adolescence. This swim school operates out of six locations throughout Brisbane, all with heated pool facilities.

Private Swimming Lessons in Brisbane

Many swim schools offer private one-on-one lessons with their swimming teachers, and there are also a number of teachers not associated with specific swim schools, who will meet you at a pool nearby or come to your home to conduct private swimming lessons in Brisbane and the surrounds.

Private lessons are particularly good for older children and adult learners who may not have experienced success within a group learn to swim environment. They are also handy for people with less flexible timetables or who prefer to learn to swim in the privacy of their own backyard pool.

Often, these private lesson providers operate through recommendations and word of mouth, so ask around. You may be surprised by what you discover.

Again, here are a few to get you started.

Shapland Swim Schools offer private swimming lessons in Brisbane in 14 different locations, all with heated pools. All Shapland teachers are industry qualified and lessons can be private or semi-private groups of no more than three students.

Karryn's Water Safety and Learn to Swim comes highly recommended by the Brisbane Mum's Group. Karryn will come to your home and work with your children, or you, to teach water safety and swimming technique in your own pool.

Swim Personal is a mobile swim school service where teachers come to you in your home to develop and deliver personalised programs tailored to your specific needs. Their lessons start with babies as young as 4 months and go through to adult learners from the absolute beginner to the confident swimmer who wants to fine-tune their stroke technique.

Where can I find the best swimming lessons in Brisbane?
Spending time in the pool with your family is the best way to have fun - but only if everyone feels safe in the water | Source: Pixabay - ClarionHotelPost

If you're in other parts of Australia, like Perth or Adelaide, you can also easily find private, mobile swimming instructors.

Make it a Family Activity

Kids love having fun with their parents — and active parents create active kids. Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in Australia, along with a huge range of water sports and on-water activities.

It's a sad, and scary, fact that close to 50 per cent of the adult population in Australia does not know how to swim, or cannot swim 25 metres with confidence. More encouraging is the growing rate of children who are learning to swim. What we need, though, is for adults to follow suit so that everyone can have fun in the water, without having to worry about safety issues.

Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves … But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goal.

~ Kieran Perkins ~

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Kellie

Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.