Jade Mckenzie-Purdham

Jade Mckenzie-Purdham: Swimming Teacher at Dearne Valley and Adwick Leisure Centre

“Being able to make a difference to young people’s lives makes my job very satisfying and enjoyable”

I’m Jade I am 19 years old and have been involved in sport from a young age. Being a Sports Leader set me in the direction of the career path I wanted to choose. I have been working for Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT) since August 2013,   during this time I have gained experience in many different areas. Starting as a casual lifeguard I gained insight into what leisure centres are like as a working environment and the different personalities and roles it takes to make the centres enjoyable. After a few months I gained my Level 1 Fitness Instructor qualification, this allowed me to work as a casual gym instructor. I was then given the opportunity to be a Swimming Assistant within swimming lessons. During this time helping swimming teachers I realised that teaching kids to swim would be a perfect job for me. In February I was given the opportunity to do my Level 1 Swimming Teachers qualification. The course was funded by SYSport and DCLT with the agreement that I would complete 20 hours voluntary work in return. My Tutor on the Course was Stuart Grace, before going on the course I only had general knowledge of how to teach people to swim. This was far advanced from what I had learnt while helping. Throughout the course Stuart supported us in any way he could. I gained great knowledge and skills from being part of the Level 1 course. It made me more confident and capable of teaching kids. Passing my level 1 course led on to teaching a number of different stage classes at both Adwick and Dearne Valley Leisure Centres. The atmosphere within the two centres is completely different which has developed my skills to adjust. While teaching I have realised that every participant is different and the way in which they learn depends on the way they understand.

I am currently completing my Level 2 Swimming Teacher’s course which has been funded by DCLT. From working with children and seeing how much they get out from what we do has been amazing. I am going to University in September to study Early Childhood studies with the plan to increase my knowledge and understanding.

I would like to thank everyone who has given me the opportunity to gain the skills and abilities I now have.

Case study provided by South Yorkshire Sport