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Steve Etches, 34


"Having not had any swimming lessons since primary school and limited to swimming no more than a couple of lengths before being completely out of breathe my aspirations to enter a triathlon seemed an impossible goal. My running and cycle fitness were pretty good, I regularly went to the gym and enjoyed rock climbing and hiking, but I couldn’t understand why I was so exhausted after swimming such a short distance. When I saw that Tri Swim Coaching were running a 6 week beginners course in Abingdon I signed up and I can’t believe the difference it has made. Ali took everything right back to the basics from getting the body position correct in the water to the importance of breathing out as I swim. At the end of the first lesson I had completed 25m freestyle without using a nose clip for the first time.


After completing the beginners course I signed up to the 6 week improvers course with Annie and this really took my swimming to the next level; not just improving my technique and efficiency in all the different elements of my stroke, but each week increasing my confidence in the water and pushing the distance I was able to swim. Everyone on the course was so supportive and friendly it really made me look forward to my swimming lessons on Wednesdayevening. During the last few weeks of the course I also started joining the squad sessions which again have further consolidated the technique drills we learnt as well as providing a good challenge. Ali and Annie really provide the encouragement to push myself harder during these sessions and I’m always surprised by how much I achieve and the improvements that I make.


My goals of completing a triathlon next year now seem achievable; I’ve really enjoyed the courses and squad sessions, not only from the perspective of the improvements in technique and confidence, but also my new found enthusiasm for swimming and the friendships that I’ve made."

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