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Swimming Classes

Classes v Private Lessons – which will work the best?
I haven’t brought Molly to water confidence or swimming lessons yet. She’s has been in a pool, splashing about and having fun, but I think it’s time to get her a few pre-swim lessons so she gets more out of it. I could see she was confused this week when she started to launch herself across the water, expecting to just float or become Arial the mermaid, and all she got was a mouthful of chlorine!.

On our previous visit, to the the fabulously warm St Gabriels Hydrotherapy Pool in Dooradoyle a little girl, who couldn’t have been more than three and a half, passed us out doing the doggy paddle, totally confident and competent, so I HAD to approach her mother and ask where she learned to swim. She told me she found it very hard to get classes for her kids, who were both under seven, so she took them for a few private lessons at the Woodlands House Hotel and then returned to St Gabriels to practice what they learned.

The possibility of one-to-one lessons was a revelation for me…I’m sure Molly would pick up the basic skills quicker with individualised lessons and possibly require less classes (costing less in the long run!). She would definitely feel more confident one to one with a swim teacher – a lady instructor that be in the pool with her and I could possibly arrange for weekends to suit work…also feedback from mums with kids in classes have told me that their kids get distracted easily and start giggling and pushing when they are left lined up with the others at the side of the pool for five minutes or so while the instructor takes them one by one across the pool. They also worry about them getting cold when they’re not moving about for these periods of inaction.

So here’s what I have gleaned so far..

grove island leisureGrove Island Swimming Pool, Corbally
Due to the popularity of their pre-swim classes for 3-6year olds there isn’t a possibility of getting a place for new kids anytime soon. In any event they only run 5pm classes monday, tuesday and wednesday which is a problem for working mums. Ph 350221

The Strand Hotel, Clancy Strand
Water confidence and beginner classes (six week course €80)
3.30 to 5pm Tuesday and Thursdays
The instructor Diana is also open to holding a Saturday class to suit working mums, depending on level of interest. Ph 085 1186260. She seems very experienced with kids and sounded very professional when I spoke to her by phone so I have booked M in with her for a Sunday morning private lesson. I will let you know how I get on…

Diana is also the swimming instructor at Dooradoyle Leisure Club and Castleoaks Hotel in Castleconnell (although she said The Strand water is the warmest so it works out best for the smallies).

Bawnmore Swimming Pool, Kilmallock Road
Duckling to Dolphin baby and toddler classes.
Classes for 3-4 year olds are due to start again in October. Ph Karen Ekrit 085 7272673

Woodlands House Hotel, Adare
Their weekly 5pm class will resume again in September.
They will also run a Saturday class but can’t confirm yet if it will be a morning or afternoon class.
Each class is max six children and they have three pools, from 1.5ft upwards, depending on age and confidence in the water. All the instructors are female – instructors stay poolside.
Private lessons cost €25 for a half hour session. Ph 605100

Intense Swim Week: July 6-9th from 10.30 to 11am each morning €70

St Gabriels HydrotherapySt Gabriels Hydrotherapy Pool, Dooradoyle
Parents can bring their kids and avail of open sessions in the hydrotherapy pool on Tuesday from 4.30 to 5.15. M and I love this pool because of the 32.5 degree water and pool side temperature. The kids pool is just perfect in size so when M moves away from me to play with the many floats and water toys on the poolside she is always at a safe distance.
Ph Dorothy 302733

greenhills_poolGreenhills Hotel, Ennis Road
Weekday lessons will start again in september for children aged six and over. Lessons cost €140 per 12 week term. They do not provide weekend lessons. Private lessons can be arranged in the mornings or evenings. Ph Ann Marie 453033

Can you recommend any other kid friendly swimming pool ? swimming lessons for 3-7 year olds?. Let me know


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