Swim teacher Beth’s Olympic rowing dream

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Swim teaching can fit perfectly around another career, studies or family life.

It can also be the perfect accompaniment to life as a high-performance international athlete, as GB rower Beth Bryan shows.

The 25-year-old launched the Beth Bryan Swim School, in Reading, this month, fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams.

And the World and European Championship medallist is eyeing another target next year when she hopes to secure a spot – and perhaps another medal ­– at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“Despite concentrating on rowing, I’ve always maintained my love for swimming, and the two sports are actually very similar in terms of the hours you need to put into training and the technical side of it,” said Beth, who began as a lifeguard in her native Teesside before working with Swim England Educator Chris Cook at Swim Buddies.

“So, after moving south to focus on rowing, I wanted to continue swim teaching and the hours are perfect for that. I train during the day from 7.30am to around 3pm, and then I can work 4pm to 6pm as a swimming teacher.

“It’s great to have something alongside rowing to keep things varied and have another outlet, and swim teaching is so rewarding. It enables me to forget about rowing and my own ambitions for an hour or two and actually focus on the children in the water.

“I also got my team-mate Jo Wratten involved when I moved down and she became a swimming assistant. She loves it now as well and it works perfectly for her, too!”

Olympics is the goal for Beth

Beth’s new swim school, based at The Oratory School, Reading, opened earlier this month following a frustrating 2018 on the water.

“I was out of the boat last year with injury, which helped me to set up my swim school,” she said. “I’m aiming to get back to fitness now so I can race nationally in the summer and put myself in a good position for 2020. The Olympics are still very much the ultimate dream.

“It’s great to have my own swim school and the opportunity to teach the way I want to teach. I am so passionate about teaching children to swim and helping them progress.

“The kids are so funny and every day is different as a swim teacher. The relationship you have with your swimmers is wonderful – how they trust you and vice versa. It’s an amazing job and I wouldn’t want to stop doing it.

“Swim teaching can also dovetail perfectly with another career or training and you can always take it further into coaching, which is ideally what I’d like to do longer-term.

“I’d like to be able to put forward what I’ve learnt from high performance sport and give younger swimmers the opportunities that I’ve had in rowing. That’s my other dream!”