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Vienna Shelton from High Wycombe, has been voted the best swimming teacher in Hillingdon, winning the first round of a national competition.

Vienna Shelton (20) teaches at Highgrove leisure centre, she has been a level 2 qualified swimming teacher since October 2017. She was nominated by a combination of pupils, parents and work colleagues all of whom were impressed by her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to her job.

More than 700 nominations were made nationwide and Vienna Shelton will now go through to a regional semi-final. If she is successful she will then go forward to a national judging day to take place at former Olympic venue, the London Aquatics Centre in Stratford.

The initiative is the brainchild of leisure operator and charitable social enterprise Better, which operates 3 in Hillingdon and a total of more than 140 swimming pools across the UK. Better is the biggest provider of swimming lessons in the UK, employing over 1.400 swimming teachers and running more than 18,100 swimming lessons each week.

The Swimming Teacher of the Year Award is also being supported by the Swimming Teacher’s Association (STA) and Speedo, representatives of whom will make up part of the final judging panel.

Commenting on her win, Vienna Shelton said:

Ever since I was a child I have wanted to be a teacher and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to see if I would be able to apply my initial childhood passion into the job. I felt that it would be a great experience to learn and teach, as I love swimming.

I would also like to say that I am extremely honoured to have been nominated for the better swim teacher award as it means the world to me to be recognised and praised for the work I do! I love teaching swimming and feel extremely privileged to be chosen, I wasn’t expecting it in the slightest.

Teaching has done a lot for my confidence, and to be nominated for an award is very important to me, and I am very thankful!

Partnership Manager at Highgrove pool and fitness centre added: “Vienna Shelton is a hugely dedicated and hardworking individual. She has inspired and encouraged a huge range of swimmers to enjoy and benefit from their time in the water.  She is able to make even the most nervous swimmer feel comfortable and confident in the water, while encouraging the more able to progress and hone their skills.”