Home' Snap Shot Magazine : April 2010 Contents Twenty years ago, Australian Olympic
hero Dawn Fraser opened the front doors
of Jan-Dee Swim School in Bowral. It was
on that day Jan-Dee started swimming
lessons in the Highlands. Owners Paul and
Jan Stevens-King can roll o a number of
their favourite moments.
Like the times a young asthmatic
Alexander would turn up looking pale, only
for the blood to return to his cheeks after
a half hour of breaststroke. Or there's the
Bell family. All four kids protested about
swimming lessons but now swim and surf
as their mates can only look on. And there's
the life-saving tips given to a youngster
who may otherwise have drowned in a rip
on holidays in Forster.
Jan-Dee's owners pride themselves on
never having turned anyone away. They
have had blind children, deaf children,
children with special needs, ADHD -- you
name it. The owners said the greatest
change over the past 20 years had
occurred in infant swimming. In 1990 there
were two lessons a week for the under-3s.
Now there are 20.
They were also the rst Swim School in
NSW to have all their teachers trained
to both Austswim and Swim Australia
While 20 years has passed since Dawn
walked in the door, the sun still hasn't
stopped shining at the swim school.
Two decades in Bowral, three around the world.
Yes, that is fty years teaching.
How old does that make you feel?
Children have the ability to make time stay in the
moment. It really does not seem that long ago until I
look at other aspects of life, and that is another story.
What was the rst class you took?
I was living in Malta at the time and was asked to teach
six nuns. How to swim and how to teach others and it
these ladies. Add to that the fact that we had to improvise
their clothing as there were no swim suits available.
Why did you choose Bowral?
Our daughter was living here then, we realised that this
beautiful little town was a possible place to ful l a dream.
That of building our own Swim School. Bowral did not
have an indoor facility so we decided to emigrate and
try to build our dream. It took a while to be accepted
as a local, we were told 10 years was minimum. Now
that we have reached 22 years we feel accepted and
there is no way Jan would live anywhere else.
What is the average age of swimmers at the pool?
There is not an average, in fact we are often surprised by
a new Mum who looks familiar. It turns out to be pupil
from the early days who is now a Mum herself. Paul tells
us this is the ultimate complement as there is nothing as
precious to us as our children. There are grandparents
returning with their families and one of our great
grandchildren had lessons too. Many adults can attribute
Paul's patience to their water ability. We have some great
letters of thanks from teachers, parents, mum's and dad's.
Have you enjoyed the past 20 years?
Swimming teaching in all its forms has never been
a boring job. Yes it is still the best job you can have.
The Highlands community have accepted us and
all of our passions. Because we make our living from
children it was natural to fund raise for children.
The Clown Doctors Program is our focus, giving
to this very worthwhile charity is what we do in our
spare time. To date the Highlands have donated
$300,000 over the past 10 years. What began with a
minimum of people is now known as The Southern
Highlands Support group. There are 9 members,
everyone working hard towards the Ball on July 24th.
We have met some great people and enjoyed the
learning cur ve on the way. The business houses of the
Highlands gave trophies in the early years for carnivals.
As the school has developed, the focus has shifted
to primary rather than high school pupils. It was time
to give back the trophies. Each term we resurrect
four trophies for the most improved swimmers.
Notes on 20 years at
Jan Dee Swim School
11 Victoria St, Bowral. p: 02 4862 1450 • e: email@example.com
Thank you Highlands Community
- you made it all possible!
Celebrating 20 years
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