Friendly Local Swimming
Lessons in Devon

SwimSouthWest is a small company based in East Devon that provides swim instruction catering predominantly for children of school age. We offer inexpensive lessons following the ASA’s acclaimed National Plan for the Teaching of Swimming.

Water Therapy

Zoe is a GP referral for exercise consultant with over 20 years of experience in swimming teaching and coaching, bringing the life skill of swimming to hundreds of adults and children privately and in schools around the SouthWest. In recent years she has been working more with adults and water therapy.

“I love the diversity of all the magic the water can offer both from a therapeutic angle and the lifesaving and fitness skill of swimming. On a weekly basis, I see people benefiting in the most rewarding ways, physically and psychologically.

A session in the water can be uplifting and relaxing and can enable the body to utilise medication to its maximum benefit and reduce the side effects. With the support from the water muscles and joints can move more freely and exercise with a bigger range of motion, reducing impact due to reduced gravity. I enjoy the ability to be flexible and bespoke in what I can offer-maybe you would like to swim for fitness and fun, conquer your water phobia, improve your technique, learn crawl or learn to swim with your head in the water? Perhaps you would benefit from spending some time enjoying the enigmatic healing properties of water therapy tailored to your specific need.

We give focused attention to all our pupils.

We restrict our classes to small numbers to enable our teachers to be able to give personal attention to all our pupils. Most lessons take place during term time and after school hours but we are occasionally able to offer lessons during school holidays.

We can also cater for anyone who is in any way water phobic or nervous. We may be able to provide one to one lessons to help you overcome your fears to allow you to enjoy being in the water.

Zoe SwimSouthWest Founder and Instructor

Born and raised in Derby my first experiences in the water were swimming lessons like lots of children at the local pool. Swimming didn’t come particularly easy to me when I was little but eventually I progressed and joined the swimming club spending many years training and competing in swimming galas. Just over 20 years ago I trained as a lifeguard, ASA swimming teacher and Aquafit instructor and lifeguard trainer/ assessor and my passion for teaching swimming was realised. I started my own business, Seaton swim school about 15yrs ago after my daughter was born and shortly after that trained as a WaterBabies teacher, for many years enjoying the superbly rewarding job of senior teacher with the Devon and Somerset team. Swim School was growing and as we were teaching in neighbouring counties it seemed appropriate to change the business name to SwimSouthwest. Having qualified as a level 3 GP referral for exercise consultant approximately 4 yrs ago I’m able to offer bespoke private or group therapy sessions tailored to individuals needs. I’m passionate about the enigmatic healing qualities of water for so many conditions whether they are physical-musculoskeletal, neurological or mental/emotional-depression anxiety.

Paul Instructor

Paul was born in Harrogate many years ago and moved to Derby aged 5 where he learned to swim. As he progressed he then joined Derby Phoenix Swimming Club before being invited to swim for Spondon Swimming Club being coached by an ex England Swimming Coach. In the later years of secondary he had a part time job at pool. In 1974 he joined the #RoyalNavy and went on to be Naval and Inter Services Champion. After leaving the Navy in 1996 was employed on Cruise ships as Chief of Security. Paul Qualified as a Level 2 in October 2011 and he is also qualified to teach Rookie Lifeguard. Paul has found teaching with SwimSouthWest to be one of the most rewarding experiences, take a child from the ‘I can’t do that’ to the ‘I can do that and it’s fun’ is so satisfying.

Richard Instructor

I was born in Yeovil in 1993 and ever since I’ve lived in the South West. I went to Chardstock Primary School then to Axe Valley. I started swimming age 5 and completed all my levels, as well as completing rookie lifeguard, When I turned 16 I became lifeguard and have been for 10 years. I have a degree in graphics and I enjoy amateur dramatics, acting and directing. I have been in the boys’ brigade since age 5 and now I am a officer. I love to travel and like to watch football and rugby.

Meet the Team

  • Zoe
  • Paul
  • Richard
An abundance of patience and understanding...

Our daughter came in at level 4 on moving into the area and has progressed within 4 years to become a Rookie Lifeguard. Zoe and Paul have an abundance of patience and understanding whether in a group lesson or one to one. We have recommended them to friends who have seen their children progress with water confidence.

A good relationship is built up between child and teacher...

Zoe has taught our children to swim with confidence and style. A good relationship is built up between child and teacher making learning fun but progressive.

Alison and Andrew Sparks.
we feel very privileged to have been able to swim with her...

Zoe is an amazing teacher and we feel very privileged to have been able to swim with her.

Liz Churchett