Something for all levels and abilities of swimmer from the timid and frightened 3 year old to the competent and capable 50+ year old. Small class sizes usually ensure that swimmers get the best possible chance to learn with the additional help and support of the teachers and helpers.

Swimming Club links can be found on the last page

To teach and promote the sport of Swimming

Our Aims

Swimming for all

Success Stories: Testimonials

Richard Charlesworth - (Founder member swimmer)


· 2010 England team: Commonwealth games;

· 2008 1500m freesytle British Champion;

· Beijing Olympic Team 2008;    

· 2007 European Junior Open Water Champion; 

· 2007 5k fastest recorded British pool time.

Richard is a founder member of Starting Blocks Swim School. He was one of the first swimmers to join a small group in 1992 at Cavendish School at the age of 5. He stayed with us until he was 9, then he joined Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club to continue his swimming skills and improve his all-round strokes. I continued to coach him there, along with other volunteers and when, around the age of twelve years, he reached county level and moved to Hatfield Swimming Club.  His challenges got harder still but was rewarded by achieving National success at age fourteen when he won the 4 x 100m freestyle relay with Hatfield team members.  At sixteen he became the 400m and 1500m freestyle National Age-Group champion.

At the age of 16 he was selected to train at the British Swimming Offshore Centre on the Gold Coast in Australia where he has competed against with some of the best swimmers in the world.  Following a 5k event in Manchester in a time of 53:10:90 he achieved the fastest ever time swum in a pool by a Brit.  Consequently at the age of 18 (2007) he tried his luck at Open Water competitions both in Australia and in Britain.  He took silver medal in the British Open Water Championships in London Docklands in 2007 and went on to be crowned European Junior Open Water Champion in the 5k event in Milan, beating his nearest opponent by 25 seconds. 

He has since become stronger and stronger at both the 5 & 10k and finished a hat-trick for Britain in the South African Open Water Championships  where he took the bronze medal, just missing out on a place in the Open Water Olympic Trials.  Not deterred, in April 2008 he swam in the Sheffield pool at the Olympic Trials and in the 1500m freestyle heat and finals took 27 seconds of his personal best time to clinch a place at the 2008 Olympic Games in Bejing.

This year (2010) qualified for the Commonwealth Games where he swam into 3 finals, 400m, 1500m & 4 x 200m Mens freestyle relay.

We are all very proud.



Julia Dennett - (Nervous beginner)

Im a 40 year old woman with a 14 year old son.I took swimming lessons 13 years ago after my son was born when I couldn’t swim at all and was doing ok when my instructor had an accident and the course was ended. I
never swam after that as I  started to lose confidence which I regret.
My colleague at work mentioned one day she was starting swimming lessons with "Swimming For All" and I asked her if she could put me in touch with them.

Best thing I ever did. I joined in April 2010 with no confidence in the water and was petrified of going under the water and especially getting out of my depth. Its now July 2010 and I have had 10 lessons which really equates to 10 hours of swimming as the lessons are 1 hour long. I am being taught how to swim properly with the arm and legs but the greatest achievement for me is I can swim under water jump in the deep end swim in the deep end and have no fears of getting out of my
depth. I can now join in the fun with my family and not be afraid and this is all thanks to Christine and Michael, we have a lot of fun learning and I will keep returning until I am able to enter the olympics lol. Which wont be long with their help.

Join in the fun and learn at the same time its something you will never regret but be proud of.

Julia Dennett

Bryan Knights – Extremely Nervous beginner

When I was about 6 years old I had a terrifying experience in my local crowded swimming pool when nobody noticed that I was in trouble. Thankfully I survived the experience but as a result I would not go near water for the next 55+ years, I was literally terrified. On holiday about 2 years ago my Grandson made me promise I would go in the hotel pool with him the following year, I hoped he would forget but kept reminding me so I realised I was trapped and needed to do something about it.

At this point enter Christine Thompson (Chrissie) as my instructor with a fellow group of non-swimmers. Amazingly and to my utter surprise by the end of the first lesson I was in water above my waist and indeed had put my face in the water as well. Things progressed slowly because of my still existing fear but after a couple weeks I was happy to let go of the side and was actually moving around on the water, albeit using a float. With Chrissie's help my confidence grew, so much so that after a few weeks when my holiday came around I was happy to go into the hotel pool and play with my grandson. This, a few weeks previously, I wouldn't have thought possible.

I enjoyed myself so much that I have continued with the lessons and I am now able to swim a length of the pool both on my front and back. Again with Chrissie's help and amazing patience I have overcome some mental blockages on the way such as floating on my back. I have recently achieved another milestone in getting in to deep water without panicking something unthinkable over a year ago.

My wife, who could do a form of breaststroke and considered herself a swimmer, even though she would not put her head under water or swim on her back, was so impressed by my progress that she joined the lessons. She has had amazing success and after a few short months, because she was already comfortable in water, can happily swim using front crawl and backstroke.

I have achieved and indeed exceeded my original aim in being able to get in the water with my grandson so much so that now I can even swim with him. One important factor in my keeping up with the lessons and my continuing progress is that not only am I learning to swim but the lessons themselves are also great fun and both my wife and I look forward to them with relish.

Bryan Knights.