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Martin Tooth, February 2012

I got to be 57 and still could not swim, despite constantly promising myself that I would take a special ‘teach you to swim in a week’ holiday. So why did I keep putting it off? I was scared probably, having only been in the water briefly as a boy, put there by a PE teacher whose idea of teaching was to supply a float and then chat to the PE mistress! A friend recommended MXT Swim School and gave me Mario’s number. It took me nearly 3 months to make that ‘phone call, but it was a ‘phone call that changed my life really.

Mario and all his staff that I came in contact with, or had lessons with, were all kind, patient and encouraging. It must have been hard for each of them to understand why a man of 57 was so nervous and so rigid. They each must surely have thought at some time, “What’s the matter with you Martin?” “Relax, have faith, trust me, and for goodness sake get on with it!” But I never heard those words, only words of encouragement, and praise for every little improvement.  And now I can swim! I can do all of crawl, breaststroke and backstroke;  I can turn round in the deep end and go back the way I came, or even do a complete circle and carry on the way I started; I can fall in or even jump in, and be confident, relaxed and at home in the water. If I push myself I can do 40 lengths, not a lot by most people’s standard I know, but for me, something I never thought possible, and being able to swim has made such a difference to my holidays too.

I am still having lessons to improve my technique and stamina, but I now have more time to watch the other pupils in the pool, and how they and the teachers interact. It does not matter whether it’s a child of 2 who is nervous, an adolescent who is already good but wanting to improve in order to compete, a person with learning or physical disabilities, or another late starting adult like me, all get tailored and relevant 1-2-1 (sometimes even 2-2-1) teaching. All leave the pool happy and wanting to return. So well done Mario and all at MXT Swim School; a great team doing a great job.