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Swim Lab reviewed in Another Place

Another Place: issue 2

Swim Clinic

Learn to swim more confidently, more artistically, more elegantly

Upcoming actress Sabrina Bartlett took on one of her toughest roles yet in The Crossing. She played a teenager who, despite living in Italy, vows to become the youngest person to swim the English Channel. The role required Sabrina to spend hours in the water, training and turning herself into a first-rate swimmer.

Sabrina succeeded, thanks not just to her determination but one of the best professional swimming coaches around. Step forward, Salim Ahmed, a man on a mission to popularise what he calls “the romance of swimming — that moment when your hand engages with the water. When you take a stroke that’s when the romance begins.”

Sound good? We think so, which is why we’ve got Salim on board at Swim Club. Salim runs our weekend Swim Clinics, and they’re open to anyone and everyone, whatever your age, shape and size.

Running over two days, Swim Clinic takes a bespoke approach, working with you whatever your swimming goal might be. Sessions on land emphasise the importance of body alignment and streamlining, while pool-time — complete with video analysis — is devoted to technique, breathing and positioning.

“I’ve loved swimming all my life,” says Salim, who captained his school and university swimming teams. “My aim is to bring out the best in each swimmer.”

That means an individualistic approach which can focus on how to get faster (if that’s what you want), but is just as likely to concentrate on rhythm and timing — the essence of relaxed, enjoyable swimming. Children and inexperienced adult swimmers have benefitted from Salim’s passion for swimming, but so too have seasoned sea swimmers.

“Watergate Bay is one of the most perfect swimming venues imaginable,” says Salim. “I often see people in the infinity pool gazing out to the sea, and know what they’re thinking. They’re wondering if they can translate what they’ve learnt in the pool to the ocean.

The answer is yes.”

Salim has bagged plenty of water time himself over the years. He ran a successful Swim Clinic at the Mall School in Twickenham for eight years, has worked as a consultant on other films besides The Crossing, and has completed a number of open water distance swims in Britain, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Europe. He also works with SwimTrek, the global open water adventure company.

“I’ve taught women in their 90s, children who are toddlers and everyone in between,” says Salim. “Afterwards they swim more confidently, more artistically, more elegantly.”

See watergatebay.co.uk/swim-club for Swim Clinic dates in 2015.

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