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'My experience on Sport Aberdeen's Aquaphobia programme...' by Jenny Gillon


Retired 64-year-old Jenny Gillon from Inverurie started out on Sport Aberdeen’s Aquaphobia programme back in November 2022 with the intention of conquering her fear of water.

She tells us all about her experience on the programme below and why more people should get involved.

“My fear of water originally started from my school days – when we had to do swimming at school it quite literally was a teacher standing there with a rope and stick.      

“I decided to apply to be on the Aquaphobia programme by completing a questionnaire and I started attending in November. I go to Zumba classes and had always wanted to try Aqua Zumba, but I was scared to go. Similarly, I was too scared to go in the water on holiday.

“When I was driving in from Inverurie to attend my first session at Get active @ Northfield, I had lots of thoughts going through my head and I was very nervous. However, I didn’t feel too scared when I was actually in the pool.

“I am definitely becoming more confident now and I notice I’m more relaxed in the water since my first session. I’ve been to five or six sessions altogether and the classes have been really good.

“The staff are brilliant; you are given lots of one-to-one guidance and they are so supportive. I’ve gotten to know Donna McKenzie-McNeill really well and I like that the classes are small.

“The steps at Get active @ Northfield are really good, it makes me feel comfortable that I can see them when I’m going into the pool.

“Now when I get flustered in the water, I know what to do. I’m not so panicky or feeling like I’m going to drown.

“I’ve gone from using two pool noodles to one, and I’ve managed to go from one side of the pool to the other whilst holding onto the side.

“I broke my hip, so I also have arthritis now, and I know that being in the pool helps me to move more and I’m not as sore afterwards.

“I know I’ve got a long way to go but I’m feeling determined. I don’t have an explicit goal, but I would like to swim when I’m on holiday this year and feel confident whilst doing so. I guess being able to swim by the end of the year would be my aim.” 

If you feel inspired and would like to find out more and register your interest in the Aquaphobia programme, you can do so here.