This message was sent out to all parents/swimmers on 17th May 2021 – We do have lessons but instead of over 350 spaces we now have 70.
I hope this message finds you well, and that life is returning to normal for you all. We have all been affected by this Pandemic, Covid-19 has really played havoc with our lives.
As you all know Swim School has been a passion that I have been working on for over a decade now. I have been so lucky to grow my school based on word of mouth and recommendations, my admin and comms have always been lacking, but I believe we have always offered the best lessons we can. I am immensely proud of the team of teachers and assistants that we have, it’s always lovely to hear that people want to come to us and be taught by my team, swim school has been like an extended family. I have also been fortunate to provide lessons to several Primary Schools in our area (so some of our swimmers would get me twice a week).
However this last 425 days (yes it’s been that long) has been surreal. I had an initial period of total fear where all our income had dried up and the costs kept going out. I was not eligible for support falling through the holes in the system, many of you offered support which I am hugely grateful for. I covered the rent and bills by working at Waitrose delivering shopping and serving customers. I did see some of you in store which was wonderful.
I managed to get a job at The John Grant School in Caister, a specialist SEN school. Which as you all know is my teaching passion. However, that didn’t work out, the pay was pro-rata and it did not cover my rent and fuel to get to work. I planned to let swim school make up the difference and all would be well. Then along came the Christmas Lockdown and that literally broke me. I couldn’t support my family and I needed to leave John Grant. We had only been able to regain some pool time at Sprowston Manor under tight covid restrictions and guidelines and that obviously stopped.
Throughout lockdown I have tried to plan for coming back and opening up, but no venue is going to be the same. Sadly our main venue Sprowston Community Academy (High School) has taken the decision to not hire during holidays and half terms, to also change the hours we can have pushing us later to the evenings and cancel all Primary School swimming. I have tried everything I can and I come to the same conclusion.
I need to support my family, pay the rent and put food on the table. 436 days ago I could do that teaching swimming, now I cant. There is no pool time and no guarantee that the pools available will be open enough for me to have a viable swim school.
I have taken the very hard decision to only use the 9 hours we have at Sprowston Manor. This gives us 72 spaces. We had well over 340 swimmers before the Pandemic plus the primary schools and adult sessions. As you can imagine this is a painful and heart-breaking decision. We will no longer be at Sprowston Community Academy.
I will try and find pool time but for the foreseeable future Swim School as it was will be no more. I know many of you will have questions please feel free to email me.
Wishing you all the best.