Swimming Academy


Hi Zelda,

I'm more than happy for you to add my feedback to your website.  Joe struggles with concentration and in his 121 lesson the teacher would be giving him the instruction and he would ignore them and dive under the water, do roly polys and even spit water, he wouldn't dare do that in your lesson thankfully!!  I'm still amazed at how you capture his concentration in a group lesson ! 

Thanks again, Alison 
"CONGRATULATIONS" to Xander Hicks, a former pupil and a joy to teach ! - he qualified for both the Open Water Nationals 1,500m Freestyle at Rother Valley Country Park in July 2016 and the 200m Breaststroke at the English Nationals at Ponds Forge in August 2016.

Stonking swims Xander, Well Done !!!!!

Thanks to Emma Perry, Mum of Will - whom we taught to swim.

Will took part in the British Para Swimming International Meet in Glasgow (April 2016).

I watched the meet online and it was fantastic watching British and World records being broken and swimmers qualifying for Rio.  

We look forward to seeing you in Tokyo in 2020 Will
- and thank you Emma for keeping me up to speed !  

Please let me know when Will has enough points and I'll book my flight for the Olympics !!!!!!

I just wanted to say thank you for the start you gave Andrew in his swimming career - all these years later, he is not just competing in the County and Regional championships, but he currently holds the 16 years and under 100 free South East Region short course trophy. 

He has also been competing at National level, both individually and with his relay teams. 

Earlier this year, his school relay teams were the Bath Cup national 4x100 medley relay champions and they won siver in the 4x100 free relay. 

We didn't even consider that he would go this far when he started his first swimming lessons with you!

My daughter had finished all the courses that SSP offered but was missing swimming and wanted to improve her technique. She had her first session with Zelda this weekend and enjoyed it so much she's now asking if she could do a 2nd session during the week.


Hi Zelda,

Thanks for the email...boy, was he excited about his swimming lesson??

As we were going to the car, he said the lesson was "very, very, very fun" (his words) and he is looking forward to his lesson this Sunday. The large float and bucket of toys at the end definitely did the trick. Hopefully, he'll be sitting on the bottom with the others very soon! 

See you Sunday. Emma

and a follow up from Emma during the term:
Zelda is a great swimming teacher and knows exactly what makes the little ones tick and how to get the best from them - a bit of fun, a bit of competiveness combined with easy to follow techniques - needless to say my 5 year old loves his swimming lesson and feels he's making real progress!


Aleeza tells me that she wants to swim “every day” (!), so thought I would ask you about her swimming twice weekly over the summer term.

Thank you so much again for another great term


Many thanks for your email - we're SO pleased with Maria's progress, she swam her little heart out yesterday - she is MEGA chuffed she's getting a 200M badge - her last one was 10M! 

We'll definitely be interested in morning sessions on Saturdays or possibly a Tuesday evening at Boxgrove. 

We want her to stay with you as she's doing so well & I don't want her confidence knocked going with strangers & 'starting again' on a completely different stroke. 

Many thanks Marnie & Maria
Zelda, thank you....   

We are thrilled with Jack's progress - 400 metres - we all could not stop smiling all day ! 

Justine Benbough
Thank you Zelda, 

We will definitely be continuing - Isabelle loves it and has improved so much :-)  

Olivia and her Mum would like to say a massive thank you for all the help, guidance and support you have given over the years we've been attending The Swimming Academy! Olivia has found her lessons exciting, fun and challenging (in a good way!) 

I believe the high standard of teaching and personal qualities of each teacher (Zelda & Sheila) has given my daughter the 'drive' to reach goals and feel a sense of achievement. 

Children are treated as an individual, not just a number, I do not know how the teachers can remember every childs name when they see so many different faces throughout the day!! 

Olivia is now a very confident swimmer and has learnt lovely techniques which she can continue to practice and perfect as time goes on. Olivia knows how to keep herself safe in the water which is a weight off my mind! 

I would strongly recommend The Swimming Academy to my family and friends and anyone else who may be reading this!  

Carla Macdonald
My twin girls Beth and Verity have been swimming for Zelda for 6 years. 

Verity, in particular was a very nervous unenthusiastic swimmer when she started at 3 and a half. Now aged nine is a very competent swimmer who spends most of her time on the bottom of the swimming pool. I never thought I would see the day when she enjoyed swimming so much. It is all down to the patience and skill of Zelda and her team. Zelda never pushed Verity and let her go at her own pace. 

I cannot recommend Zelda highly enough, she is a real gem and an amazing swimming teacher. 

Having a busy life I didn't start taking my son to swimming since he was a baby, he started very late (5 years old) and already very aware of the dangers. I started taking him to swimming lessons in a gym with a pool (quite deep for kids), but it was close to home, a group of young girls (almost a different one every week), from one of those franchises, he didn't known a teacher long enough to trust her when a different one was in the week after. He completely lost his confidence after he jumped into the pool once and he didn't feel the teacher was going to help him, after that every swimming lesson was a nightmare. 

I started looking for other swimming classes in the area. I went onto the waiting list at the leisure centre for months, until I found Zelda online. I contacted her and explained and she said to bring him to see and if he wanted to get into the pool great, if not he could look and maybe the week after he could do it. That was the start of an amazing journey ! Each week my son is more confident ! Zelda is an experienced swimming teacher, she knows how to talk to him and how to make him feel comfortable. If he doesn't want to do something she won't force him, but she encourage him and he ends up doing it, even if he is very scared. She is very good at following each kid’s learning curve and make sure they go at their own pace. 

I have to drive around 10 miles to get to class every Saturday, but it is definitely worth it. The pool is perfect for the kids to learn and Zelda has great help, Sheila, she is also great with the kids. Right now, after a year with Zelda and Sheila my son can swim 100m. He loves Saturdays because is swimming and gets very excited with every bit of progress. 100% recommended, the best swimming academy in the area. 

Marysol Mantilla

My 3 teenage children all attended weekly swimming lessons with Zelda when they were little. The elder two were never the best in the class but the youngest showed some promise and now swims with a local club and represents her school. However Zelda managed to give all 3 of them is the gift of confidence in the water. This has been a great foundation to go out and enjoy any number of watersports including rowing, windsurfing, canoeing, sailing, scuba diving, wake boarding and paddle boarding. In fact the two older children have spent the summer employed as watersports instructors. I hope they have inspired some of their students the way Zelda inspired them.

Thank you again for helping to lay such strong foundations.


“Both our teenagers have been swimming with The Swimming Academy since they were very age 2 and 4 respectively; and as a result they’re both very confident, safe and accomplished swimmers.

Zelda and Sheila have such a positive, affirming, celebratory style that they inspire even the most anxious child (or adult!) to achieve his or her best. They’re both warm, organised, realistic and clear in their relationships with children and with parents (surely the most difficult part of the business for any child-focussed business!); and frequently do whatever it takes to encourage someone towards achieving their highest goal.

In over 10 years with Zelda and her team, I’ve only ever heard parents and children alike enthuse about them. We’re very lucky to have had the opportunity for our children to be taught such an important skill by such a dedicated team of professionals."

Thank you. Kim and Chris Gregory, Godalming

Hello, lovely Zelda,

We will be guided by you as to venue, but we would certainly like to continue if you have space for Corin, please. Thank you so much for your wonderful lessons, I still say you are a genius!!!


Both Toby and Tilly have loved swimming with you and have both developed into excellent confident swimmers thanks to all your hard work and enthusiasm. I don't know where the time has gone - it seems only yesterday that I was in the splash class with Tilly, with you and Sheila singing "when I was young I sucked my thumb the day I went to sea...."

Julie and Graham

You've worked your magic for a girl who couldn't put her face in the water at the start!


By the way, thank you for making swimming fun again - it's lovely to hear Sammy laughing about her sessions - obviously the older boys in the group are spurring on her competitive streak


We're all very very happy with Ted's progress! Huge huge thanks to you and Sheila for all the work you've done with him. We're delighted!


Hi Zelda, 
Yes, he did really well, he was sooo happy!! :))) 

It gave him a lovely confidence boost. He really concentrated and tried hard. :))) Hats off to you. 

It also takes a great teacher to spot and recognise when a child is doing their best and that's what's so impressive. You have class after class, yet each child is recognised as an individual and their achievements seen. Thank you so much! See you on Saturday! 

Mrs Roberts, Guildford

Of course we want to carry on with you because Raphael loves you and you have a way with him that he responds well. Thank you


"My daughter was struggling with her swimming when a friend recommended we joined the club just over a year ago. Since then she has gone from strength to strength both in her technique and confidence. Best of all her love of swimming has returned ! We are thrilled at her progress and I cannot recommend this swim school highly enough. The teaching is excellent and lots of fun too"


I really am so impressed with the attention you give to every individual and I am so proud of how Sofia is continually improving, thanks to you. She is so happy with herself and proud she can swim as well as she can with good technique. You are a super swimming teacher, can't believe how well Sofia has developed thanks to you.

Leon is over the moon to hear he will be starting swimming with you!  I imagine he will try his hardest to catch up with Sofia as soon as he possibly can!


Thank you for the email but you did almost give me a heat attack!!! 
I thought you were going to say that you were stopping all together, so I am very pleased that you are not!!!!! 
I would travel to wherever you were teaching, thankfully for my petrol bill that is just Guildford…..I couldn't imagine ever using a different teacher!! 

Heidi Gunner
The children are really enjoying your lessons. We never have any moans before the lesson - they are all excited to come. You have a great control over the whole class in the water. I love it that you get in the pool with them and show them exactly what to do. We have been to so many lessons where it is all done from the side of the pool so this is a refreshing change and works really well. The short play time at the end of each lesson is a great idea too as it makes them want to come back for more! They are all progressing well in a fun environment. Thanks Zelda!! 

Hi Zelda, 

Thanks for this morning, Ben was thrilled to achieve his badge - what a determined little fella he is!! Tom says swimming is his best hobby :))- happy boys ! 

Many thanks and have a good break over Easter. 

Dear Zelda, 
I was going to email you this morning! Just to say Charlotte loved her first swimming lesson with Miranda last night and being with just 4 girls, I was a very happy mummy! 
I was impressed she was with older girls too, so Sheila has taught her well!! 
Thanks again - see you next Tuesday. 

Kind Regards, Alex Charlotte's mummy!
Hi Zelda, 

Just read the attachment and I see you have offered to move them up a class HOORAY!! and YES PLEASE to 2 places in the 1200 - 1230 class! 

Thanks so much Zelda, I think they have both come on leaps and bounds since they started with you its amazing See you on Saturday. Sx
Thank you so much to you and Sheila for all your hard work with the Mitchell family over the last 6 years. I don't think we could have found better swimming teachers. You have transformed my two very unconfident water phobic children into confident swimmers who really enjoy going in the water. 

Jane Mitchell
Yay..... I'm totally chuffed with the girls progress (and their being able to swim at the same time! ) Thank you so much. Have a lovely Easter.