Education, Training and Recruitment

Better Cardiff’s Aquatic programme is supported and delivered by a dedicated team of ASA/UKCC Qualified Aquatic Teachers and Coaches. The Aquatic Officer works closely with the Swim Wales Education Officer to develop Workforce Training across all aquatic disciplines; ensuring that all teachers and coaches are continually upskilled and build upon their knowledge and skills.

To find out more information on how to train to become a qualified ASA/UKCC Aquatic Teacher or Coach or to find courses please follow the links to the Institute of Swimming (IOS) or the Swim Wales Education Training information pages.,-training-jobs.aspx

To find out more information when courses are running in and around the Cardiff area please visit the Swim Wales Online website.

Please note: all ASA/UKCC training course places must be booked on line via the IOS.


If you are a qualified ASA/UKCC Level 2 Aquatic Teacher or Coach and interested in working for Better Cardiff, please send a copy of your CV to your local centre or getting in touch via our Contact Us Form.

Learn to Swim

Better Cardiff offer a comprehensive Learn to Swim programme for both children and adults working in partnership with the Welsh Swimming Association (Swim Wales) and lessons follow the Aqua Passport Learn to Swim Framework. All swimming lessons and aquatic based activities are taken by fully qualified Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) Level 2 Teachers/Coaches who also hold an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously known as CRB).

Our Learn to Swim programme is designed so all pupils are continually assessed throughout the scheme, in a safe and fun environment. The Aqua passport framework allows pupils to work towards gaining badges and certificates in recognition of their achievements.

Please note: Pupils are required to pass all the elements in each Wave to the recommended standards in order to progress to the next class.

The Aqua Passport has been devised by the National Governing Body of Swimming in Wales ‘Swim Wales’ in association with Sport Wales and supported by the Welsh Government with the vision for children to enjoy swimming and other water-based activities for the rest of their lives. The framework has been designed through extensive consultation by experts in the aquatic and education industry. The basic principles of teaching children to swim remain unchanged and the Aqua Passport promotes the use of the ‘learning through play’. This has been found through educational research, to be the most effective method by which children learn and teachers are encouraged to utilise a variety of methods, games, activities and scenarios to achieve the outcomes.


Learn to Swim via the Medium of Welsh

Better Cardiff works in partnership with Urdd Cymru to provide the Learn To Swim Scheme via the medium of Welsh.




School Swimming Scheme

Swimming is a compulsory subject on the National Curriculum for Physical Education in Wales in Key Stage 2 and is arguably one of the most beneficial extra curricular activities in helping young people maintain a healthy lifestyle. Learning to swim through school is often the only opportunity some children have and can be seen as a gateway in providing opportunities to take part in a host of other water-based activities where swimming is either a pre-requisite for an activity or makes participation in and around water much safer.

Better Cardiff’s School Swimming Programme follows the Aqua Passport Framework. This framework provides a nationally recognised and consistent approach to teaching swimming at all levels and ability. This also allows a seamless pathway into the Councils’ Learn to Swim scheme should pupils wish to continue with their swimming. The Council’s School Swimming Programme utilises all six of its ideally placed swimming pools across the city, providing an opportunity for all Cardiff Council Primary Schools in to access the programme. The School Swimming Programme has been specifically developed through Swim Wales and the ASA guidance to assist Primary Schools in achieving the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum for Physical Education swimming requirements.

Contact your child’s school and ask them how they are meeting their obligation to your child’s swimming development: Learning to swim at an early age can go on to save your child’s life – drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death in children.

For further information on School Swimming in Wales, please go to Swim Wales –

Swimming Pools and Activities

Swimming remains the most popular recreational activity in the UK.

Come along and join the fun by visiting one of our multiple Better Centres that have excellent swimming pool provision.

Useful Swimming & Aquatic Links

Amateur Swimming Association

Beach Safety Advice

British swimming

City of Cardiff Swimming Club

Disability Sport Wales

Institute of Swimming

Open Water Swimming in Wales


Royal Lifesaving Society

Sport Wales

Swim Wales

Water Safety & Advice

Welsh Assembly

Welsh Government Free Swimming

“Enjoy the fun and swim free of charge at a swimming pool near you”

In 2003 the Welsh Government launched a Wales-wide scheme offering free swimming for the over 60s, and 16 & under (during school holidays). Most recently a further addition to this provision has been made meaning that members of the Armed Forces and Veterans (based on certain eligibility) can now access free swimming at the Better Maindy Centre.

The Free Swimming Scheme is aimed at promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. To apply to take part in the free swimming initiative, pick up an application form at any of the seven participating Better Swimming Pools.

16 & Under

You can enjoy free swimming during school holidays; centres also run fun, structured aquatic activities such as mini polo, float fun, pool parties, snorkelling and lifesaving. Times will vary at each centre, so please check. To apply for a junior free swim card collect from your local Better Centre. Please note: a parent/guardian signature is required and inset days are not part of the Free Swimming Initiative.

Over 60’s

Over-60s are able to access free recreational swimming during public swimming sessions subject to availability. Other activities include Aqua Fit and Learning to swim, for more information please contact your nearest Better leisure centre.

To apply for your free swim card please collect from your local Better leisure centre. When applying to join the scheme you will need to provide proof of your age by providing one of the following:

  • bus pass
  • driver’s licence
  • pension book
  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • marriage certificate

NB: Please check with your doctor before beginning any activity, especially if you have chronic back, joint, heart, or inner-ear problems

Armed Forces (AFFS)

Free swimming for Armed Forces and veterans is the latest initiative to be launched by the Welsh Government as part of its Package of Support for the Armed Forces Community. Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans are eligible for free swimming using their Defence Privilege Card which is available through the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Discount Service.

Maindy Centre is the only pool offering the scheme in Cardiff and is on offer to Veterans and Armed Forces Personnel on leave and who reside in Wales. The scheme gives access for all ‘adult recreational swimming’ as timetabled at Maindy Centre. Note: Veterans over the age of 60 will automatically qualify for the Welsh Government 60+ Free Swimming initiative scheme.

To access the Armed Forces Free Swimming Scheme (AFFS) Veterans and Armed Forces Personnel MUST hold valid ‘MOD Defence Privilege Card’.  On production of the MOD Privilege Card you will be asked to complete the Councils AFFS application form and you will be issued with your Better Cardiff AFFS card.

 Please note:

  • Only Better Cardiff AFFS cards can be used in Cardiff, cards or memberships from other Welsh Authorities are not valid, a new application form will need to be completed.
  • A replacement Better Cardiff AFFS card will charged at £3.00

For further information on times and activities please contact your nearest Better Centre.

Aqua Fitness


Swimfit has been developed by swimming experts at the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), Swimfit offers a free online poolside club and gym style workout programme for the pool.

Aqua Aerobics

This pool-based cardio session gives you all the benefits of an aerobics class, with the added support and cushioning of the water. Get your body in shape, heart pumping, your fitness levels up!

Aqua Zumba

Aqua Zumba® blends the Zumba® philosophy with water resistance, for one pool party you shouldn’t miss!

Stamina Swim

Stamina Swim has been developed by swimming experts at the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), Stamina Swim offers a free online poolside club and gym style workout programme for the pool.

Stamina Swim has been developed by swimming experts at the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), Stamina Swim offers a free online poolside club and gym style workout programme for the pool.


Better Swim Etiquette
  • Pre Cleanse
    Please help us to keep your pool clean by following our
    Swim Hygiene guidelines by showering and using the toilet
    facilities before you swim.
  • Respect
    People of different standards and abilities will use the pool. Please
    respect their right to enjoy their swim.
  • Speed
    Choose your lane using the fast, medium and slow signs and by
    watching those already swimming. Before pushing off at each
    turn, check to see if anyone faster is approaching.
  • Direction
    Please follow the directional signs and move across to the
    appropriate side of the lane for each length.
  • Space
    Try and leave at least 5 metres between yourself and another
    swimmer and if it’s possible to see a pace clock, then a 5 second
    gap is just as good.
  • Strokes
    Wide stokes such as butterfly and breaststroke should be avoided
    when the lanes become busy. If you change to a slower stroke as
    part of your session, think about moving lanes.
  • Equipment
    Fitness swimming training equipment, such as fins and hand
    paddles, is permitted at the discretion of the lifeguard and based
    on capacity. Snorkels can be used in conjunction with conventional
    swimming goggles.
  • Resting
    Whether stopping for a rest or catching your breath after
    completing your swim, please be mindful that others using the
    lane will want to keep on swimming without stopping
  • Share
    Celebrate your achievements and share your swimming stories
    with us on social media using #betterswimming, we’d love to hear them!