Lynda Clapham from Reading has been voted the best swimming teacher in Reading winning the first round of a national competition.

Lynda, aged 40, has been teaching at Rivermead Leisure Complex for over 15 years. She is one of the lucky teachers who take people on their swimming journey, starting at 6 months old upto adult lessons. 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 Lynda 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 Rivermead Leisure Complex in Reading 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, Lynda said “I became a swim teacher because I wanted to do something rewarding . I love my job because, I get to see people go from being terrified of the water to being confident swimmers, it’s great. I couldn’t think of a better job!”   

Paul O’Sullivan, General Manager at Rivermead Leisure Complex added: “Lynda 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.”