South Ayrshire Swim Teachers Breaking Down Barriers

21 March 2024
Learn to Swim swim teachers Cerys McCrindle and Laura Logan celebrate World Downs Syndrome Day

Breaking Down Barriers

Swim teachers Laura Logan and Cerys McCrindle from South Ayrshire, share their passion for swimming with next generation through the Learn to Swim programme. They're both competing in the 11th World Down Syndrome Swimming and Artistic Championships in Turkey.

TWO YOUNG women with Down Syndrome from South Ayrshire are leading the way for swimmers of all abilities by sharing their passion for swimming this World Down Syndrome Day (21 March).

Laura Logan, 30, and Cerys McCrindle, 22, both from South Ayrshire are competing in the 11th World Down Syndrome Swimming & Artistic Championships in Antalya, Turkey from 21st - 26th March 2024.
Laura and Cerys are both employed part-time with South Ayrshire Council to teach Learn to Swim lessons, playing an important role in helping children to learn this vital life skill.

Alongside being Learn to Swim teachers, both Laura and Cerys swim competitively with the South Ayrshire Swim Team (SAST), and Down Syndrome Swimming Great Britain (DSSGB), two of only four Scottish athletes in the team.

Driven by their passion to show that anyone of any ability can swim, they coach a variety of lessons at the Prestwick and Citadel swimming pools and help play a vital role in creating ‘Generation Swim’ by delivering Learn to Swim lessons to over 50 children a week.

Laura, who celebrates her 30th birthday on World Down Syndrome Day, has been competing since the age of 12. Laura’s swim journey began in parent and child classes before progressing through the Learn to Swim programme and Club Ready. She then joined the Kilmarnock Jets and the SAST Para squad when it was first established in 2013.   

Laura said: “Being able to teach swimming lessons to so many children is great, I love passing on my knowledge to them and watching them grow in confidence as they learn new skills.”

On 8th March 2024, Laura was proud to accept the West of Scotland Disability Athlete of the Year Award, supported by her Mum, Betty, who coaches with the SAST Para Squad and Team DSSGB.
Cerys took part in Learn to Swim lessons from a young age and has been competing since she was 11. 

Cerys said: “I love swimming, I always have. I’ve been able to travel all over the world through my competitions. Being a swim teacher is great, I get to teach kids how to be safe in the water, as well as create lesson plans.

“I became a swim teacher to pass on my knowledge and help other people feel confident in the water.  Most importantly I want those I’m teaching to feel like they can just be themselves. Teaching is so much fun and so rewarding, I would encourage anyone to get involved.”

Learn to Swim swim teachers Cerys McCrindle and Laura  and Betty Logan celebrate World Downs Syndrome Day

Cerys McCrindle with mum and daughter fellow swim teachers Laura and Betty Logan

Learn to Swim teacher Cerys McCrindle in the pool

Cerys is competing in 2024 world championships

The Learn to Swim Framework helps to create quality Learn to Swim environments for children from birth upwards where they can learn the vital skills to become safe and competent swimmers, and also get to experience the wider health and social benefits that swimming can offer as they progress through the aquatic pathway.

South Ayrshire Council prides itself in providing a supportive environment for teachers like Cerys and Laura to develop their skills and offer a wide range of opportunities for training, supporting, and employing swimming teachers.

Scottish Swimming supports National Framework partners to develop their teachers with regular continued professional development and access to resources to help with lesson delivery.

Those looking to become a swim teacher will be put through the Scottish Swimming Teacher Qualification (SSTQ) which is the industry standard for those who wish to teach unsupervised to groups of swimmers with a range of abilities and is essential for seeking employment as a swimming teacher. 

Learn to Swim aims to build a real legacy for Scotland – creating “Generation Swim” by improving water safety and giving all children a real platform for success to achieve their full potential both in the pool and out.

The National Learn to Swim Framework has already provided lessons to more than 100,000 youngsters and aims to reach another 100,000 by 2025.