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A swim teacher from Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre has been voted the best swimming teacher in Lambeth winning the first round of a national competition.

Marina (35) who has been teaching at Streatham and West Norwood Health and Leisure Centre for over three and a half years teaches young children from pre school to lower stages as part of the weekly Learn to Swim programme. Marina was nominated by a combination of pupils, parents and work colleagues all of whom were impressed her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to her job.

More than 700 nominations were made nationwide and Marina will now go through to a regional semi-final.  If successful Marina 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 5 pools across Lambeth 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, Marina said: “this is really important to me as it means I must be doing a good job as a swim teacher. I really enjoy teaching and when the children are grateful that I have taught them to swim it makes me happy”

Anna, General Manager at Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre added: “Marina 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. Marina 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.”