General News:

Sport Aberdeen's Learn to Swim programme helps Laura McLeod overcome her aquaphobia


37-year-old Laura McLeod started swimming lessons with Sport Aberdeen in October 2023 – the charity follows the Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water Framework for ‘Learn to Swim.’

Having always wanted to learn to swim, Laura experienced an incident as a youngster which meant she became aquaphobic and never learned.  

As an adult, she was diagnosed with arthritis in her knees and fibromyalgia and was advised by her GP that swimming would be the best form of exercise, however she didn’t get into the pool until her mobility was really bad.   

Above: Laura at her swimming lesson.

Laura said: “I then apprehensively applied for adult swimming lessons, and it was the best thing I could have done!

“The instructors have been equally patient and encouraging with me, and I am now no longer aquaphobic.

“Although I am not fully confident yet, my confidence builds every week. I am nearly 5 months into swimming lessons – I’m not quite swimming yet but I feel confident in the water, under water and with aquatic breathing.

Laura has enjoyed and appreciated the support of her swimming instructors along the way.

She said: “My instructors challenge me at every session and would never push me to do something they didn’t think I was capable of.

“They take time to focus on where they think my confidence and skill needs improved and have a very person-centred approach to teaching.

“The progress I have made in five months has been astounding considering on my first lesson I could barely put my face in the water.

“The confidence my instructors and the lessons have instilled in me has had a positive impact on other aspects of my life also. My mental and general health has improved; I am much more confident than I ever was before too.

“I would highly recommend any adult non-swimmer aquaphobic person to apply to Sport Aberdeen for lessons, it really will change your life.” 

Sport Aberdeen has adult beginner and adult improver week-long intensive swimming lessons available to book now.

These will take place across two weeks: 29 July – 2 August and 12 – 16 August and can be booked here.