When struggling to find suitable swimming lessons for her child, Gaynor Duffy was inspired to train as a teacher, beginning a career with the help of the RAF. “My eldest son was diagnosed with Hemiplegia when he was three years old. The consultant didn’t expect him to achieve much, sports-wise.” Said Gaynor. “We went to Gibraltar to visit my sister and Adam was amazing in the pools with his cousins who were a little older than him. “When we returned from holiday I decided to book him into lessons, but the local pools didn’t do them for three-year-olds. I approached RAF Henlow pool which had just been refurbished and they offered to train me.” Gaynor’s new career would end up taking her to Cyprus, teaching swimming to military personnel and military school children.
Upon her return to the UK, Gaynor continued to teach, joining the team at The Pools Swimming and Health Centre, where she is now Swimming Co-ordinator, using her vast experience and knowledge to drive the centre’s swim school programme. This role has allowed Gaynor to make a difference to lives in her local community, with one particular story having particular resonance with her. “I had a lad a couple of years ago who wanted to improve his swimming so he could join the Navy.” Said Gaynor. “At the time he didn’t even like getting his face wet! He’s now completed all his training and is a serving member of the Royal Navy.” Now in her 18th year of swim teaching, Gaynor is as passionate as ever, and would recommend training to take up a role within the Better Swim School: “They should go for it. The hours are flexible, the activities are varied and the people you meet are lovely, the achievements they make really lift your own heart and make your feel good too.”