Twenty of the UK’s best franchise entrepreneurs were listed for the BFA Franchisee of the Year Awards 2016 and Swimtime was among them!
Huge congratulations to Heather Ratcliffe , Swimtime franchisee in West Midlands, who was a finalist in the Young Franchisee of the Year category. To come so far, against such strong competition, is an amazing achievement.
Heather is a swimming teacher who became Swimtime franchisee in 2011 – our youngest ever. Since then she has tirelessly continued to grow the business and has built a great reputation for the brand in her region. She also introduced us to the Australian brand Vorgee, now our goggles partner across the network.
The award ceremony, supported by HSBC, took place in beautifully decorated Birmingham Town Hall. Heather was cheered by the strong Swimtime representation, including the owner and Managing Director Theo Millward, Business Development Director Rachel Brooks, and the founders and former owners, Linda and Barry Price.
Swimtime North East is one of the most energetic charity fundraisers that you would like to have on your side. Back in June they raised £5176.62 for Meningitis Research Foundation. The cheque was handed to the Foundation at the Great North Run in September.
Massive thanks and congratulations to all who helped: Swimtime Teachers, the swimmers who participated in the Swimathon, and their parents, and of course to the the Swimtime North East franchise owner, Rachelle Vipond, who was the soul and brains behind this amazing effort. We are proud to announce that at our recent, annual Franchisee Conference it earned her the well-deserved title of Swimtime Community Fundraiser of the Year.
The annual Swimtime Franchise Conference took place on 22 – 23 of September in Mere Court Hotel in Knutsford.
All Swimtime franchisees and Central Office staff travelled to picturesque Knutsford where they attended two days of talks, presentations and workshops. We discussed challenges and opportunities facing the Swimtime businesses across the country, presented our new products, and came up with exciting, new marketing ideas. It was an invaluable opportunity to share common hopes and concerns, and learn from others’ experience.
It’s been the first time when our annual award for the Best Franchisee of the Year was privately funded by Swimtime founders and former owners, Linda and Barry Price. From now on the award is going to be their contribution to the Swimtime family, in memory of their years dedicated to building the business. Huge congratulations to this year’s winners, Paul Lagar and Ian Berry from Swimtime Scotland!
The evening was packed with entertainment, thanks to our fantastic compere, Paul Sleem.
Big thanks to all our franchisees for making this event insightful, memorable and fun. See you all next year!
We are moving all of our customers on to our wonderful, brand new, software system between now and the end of April. During this transition there might be a few hours when you won’t be able to access our direct payment functions so please bear with us.
Please also check that we have your correct address details as these are used to verify your identity, when you make an “on-line” payment. You can up-date this information yourself by logging in here.
If you have any queries, please contact your local Swimtime office.
Celebrating with their certificates. Swimtime’s Richard Wilson (back left) and Swimming Teacher, Matthew Di Rosa (right) with the children from Siddal Moor school.
A group of specially selected Siddal Moor pupils recently took part in a pilot exercise run by the school to get students swimming.
Staff from the school alongside ‘Swimtime’ teachers held sessions at The Village Hotel in Bury over a number of weeks.
Some of the students that took part could not swim at the start of the sessions but were able to complete at least 25m unaided by the end of it.
The students enjoyed the experience so much that they will be returning to the pool for more sessions after the Christmas holidays.
Swimtime teaches thousands of swimming lessons every week in over 200 pools across the UK.
All independent swimming teachers working with Swimtime follow industry best practice guidelines.
They hold top teaching qualifications, are lifesavers, have insurance, and current Enhanced CRB Disclosures or equivalent.
The independent swimming teachers are all kind and fun and as highly qualified and motivated.
Linda Price, elected to the role of British Franchise Association (bfa) Forum Chair for the North of England
Swimtime is the UK’s largest independent provider of swimming lessons, delivering a programme to individuals and groups of all ages and abilities. This includes providing inclusive sessions in the water for children with a range of physical or learning disabilities. Children who may need a bit more support can also have a parent or carer in the water with them.
Linda Price, founder of Swimtime, says “Our extensive experience shows that so many children, whose disabilities can restrict them in other parts of their day to day lives, benefit from participating in inclusive group lessons. Water is therapeutic on many levels and it’s so rewarding to see the parent’s faces as they watch their children excited, having fun and moving freely in the water.”
To find out more about what is available in your area, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the “Swimming Lessons near you” search on our home page. We will offer you specific help and advice along with details of lesson availability.
Recently Swimtime was chosen by Theo Paphitis as one of just six lucky businesses to win his Small Business Sunday (#SBS) competition. The weekly campaign allows businesses to pitch their business, via a tweet of 140 characters to Theo, who then selects the most interesting ones to promote.
Each week Theo reviews and chooses his favourite lucky six who are then re-tweeted. As he has over 400,000 followers, this provides a massive boost to the lucky businesses.
Following on from the all important announcement, Swimtime was invited to submit an article to SBS on how the business began, how it has grown and where it has succeeded.
You can read here about how the #SBS win has helped Swimtime build its online connections. If you’d like to read the article that is currently on the SBS website, then keep reading!
Swimtime’s Linda talks about her business’s journey
As a trained swimming teacher I was determined that my daughters would learn to swim when they were young, so they could learn to enjoy water safely. When the time came to find local classes however, there seemed to be a serious drought!
Initially I taught them myself and this led to me teaching other children how to swim, and Swimtime was born. As with any essential life skills, there is a constant demand for good swimming lessons driven by parents who want to feel confident that their kids will be safe around water, at home or on holidays…read more
Swimtime has been nominated for the What’s On 4 Junior Awards for the third year running. We’ve been nominated in five categories including the Best National Activity for Children 5–12. Check out our video (above) and vote for us here! Thank you.
Swimtime founders, Barry and Linda Price, have just announced a Partnership Agreement, with new kids on the UK block, Australian swim Brand, Vorgee.
Barry advises “Our regional network of franchisees already enjoy the benefits of improved terms with many suppliers who work with Swimtime. Our national presence enables everyone to get the best of both worlds as we seek out the very best suppliers in all areas of our business. We are delighted to add Vorgee to this list as a preferred supplier.
Linda added “Because we work closely with STA (Swimming Teachers Association), and they are logistic partners with Vorgee UK, it really provides the perfect fit to create new Brand Synergy for all the Partners.”
Paul Barrett-Smith, International Business Director of Vorgee International, “This is a very positive step forward in our international expansion, after nine very successful years Brand building in Australia, where Vorgee is one of the leading swim equipment brands, and the only swim brand exclusively endorsed by Swim Australia, who opened our UK door to their associates STA.”
The Vorgee brand is already acknowledged by other UK professional swim specialists to be very exciting, easy to work with, drawing whatever new stock required immediately from ex-UK stock held in Birmingham.
“Biggest breakthrough for us,” comments Wayne Diedericks, National Accounts Manager, Vorgee UK, “is that we can now continue to grow our quality brand through committed professionals at pool deck level, without having to compete with any discounted brand product at retail.”