Sunday 20 October 2019

Interview with Edward Rose from Swim for Life

An expert swimming instructor who offers lessons for adults and hosts exciting Wild Swimming events in the River Wye, SoGlos speaks to Edward Rose about his innovative business, Swim for Life.

Pioneering his own unique business, Swim for Life, which is designed to empower adults to learn to swim, qualified instructor Edward Rose offers a wealth of experience and passion for the water.

Ahead of Swim for Life’s wild swimming summer events which entail taking a dip in the River Why, SoGlos speaks to Edward about his swimming history, the beauty of outdoor swimming, and his bucket list of places to hit the water.

Can you tell SoGlos readers a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been an active person all my life and love the water. From an early age I took swimming lessons, swam competitively for Cheltenham Swimming Club, and have since trained to teach others to embrace the water.

I’m ASA level two qualified but then further enhanced my swimming credentials by undertaking Shaw Method teaching. This method focuses on an almost holistic approach to the water, making swimming enjoyable, healthy and almost effortless. I really love seeing people develop, not just as swimmers but also as characters.

When I’m not working, I still love to be in the water. I often head to Cornwall and go swimming, surfing or kayaking. I’m also a qualified scuba dive master, and love swimming alongside some of the world’s most beautiful marine life.

How did you begin teaching swimming to adults, and why do you think it’s important?

Statistically there are around 70 per cent of adults that are unable swim, and I decided that my swim school would offer the opportunity to change that.

There are so many swims schools that focus on children, which is of course important, but very few give adults the attention they want and need. Many adults keep telling me they want to be able to swim with their children on holiday, or try a new water sport such as diving, but don’t have the confidence.

Some want to train for a triathlon or simply overcome deep rooted fears. Swimming is such a healthy way to exercise and when done correctly, and it can be enjoyed into old age.

With my science background I also know that adults like understanding and learning the technicalities of their swimming. I am able to provide that additional knowledge if they want it. Lots of people that can swim would really benefit from enhancing their stroke too, and I’m always happy to offer some stroke improvement workshops.

Who can attend lessons with Swim for Life?

Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to swim with me. I teach at two different pools; The Chase Hotel and also DW Sports in Cheltenham.

DW Sports is an adult only environment and the pool is quiet during off-peak hours, so we have the perfect location for people to attend lessons. The Chase Hotel is more family friendly and accommodates children, but we have a dedicated lane and can enjoy quality pool time.

What can adults expect from a swimming lesson with you?

They can expect exceptional, personal attention. I am always in the water with my clients and work to help them feel safe at all times. I will never stand on pool side shouting instructions. I’m happy to accommodate different working patterns to suit the needs of people that want to swim, and offer a flexible approach to learning.

We do group sessions, however most adults tend to want personal one-to-one attention. Group sessions are capped at a maximum of four people so that you still receive quality tuition.

Can you tell us how you got into wild swimming?

As a child I was always in the water; My brother and I used to swim at any available opportunity, so it’s a big part of my lifestyle.

When I was 25, I travelled around the world for two years. During that time, I swam through parts of the Colorado river, across Lake Taupo in New Zealand, through rivers and seas in Australia and many other amazing places.

What does a wild swim entail, and what makes it such an enjoyable experience?

For our wild swimming events, we take swimmers down a particularly scenic stretch of the River Wye. The river has a current which can either be gentle or sometimes a little stronger, which means you can enjoy the physical movement of the water, without feeling intimidated by it.

We swim downstream so the experience is designed to be an enjoyable one. We want our swimmers to enjoy the feeling of embracing nature and gain pleasure from those moments.

Our group sizes are kept to a maximum of eight and we deliver a safety briefing beforehand. There are also two swimming guides to ensure swimming is kept as safe as possible. After you swim, we will also fire up the barbeque and offer some food and drink so you go home satisfied!

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Where is your favourite place in Gloucestershire for wild swimming?

The River Wye is a lovely spot but I also enjoy heading to Cotswold Water Park as the lakes there are great for open water swimming.

Is there one place in the country or the world that you’d love to swim in the wild?

A tough question as I can think of lots! I would love to swim around the Galapagos with marine iguanas; those big schools of hammerhead sharks. I would also love to go to Baja and swim with the marine mammals that gather there during the breeding seasons. Wildlife features heavily for me on my chosen destinations.

In the UK, I’d really like to get up to Skye and swim in the fairy pools, as they look amazing!

Finally, what do you enjoy most about your job?

I most enjoy meeting people, and helping them to do something that I derive so much pleasure from.

For more information, see Swim for Life, call 07961 483444 or visit directly.

By Sophie Bird

© SoGlos
Tuesday 30 May 2017

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