Retired Met Officer Takes the Plunge!

Tom Ross retired from the Met in May 2009. With ten years swimming teaching experience behind him, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his time post-retirement. Learning a new way of swimming and teaching has made his new career even more rewarding.

Writing about his new career as a swim teacher Tom said, "I joined my local force, Grampian Police, in 1977. After four years I'd had enough of sheep dip evading farmers and turkey rustlers, so decided to hit the big city. I joined the Met in 1981 where I remained until I retired as a Custody Inspector at Charing Cross last year.

"I first got into swimming through my children, Helen, Alice and Matthew, who were all keen members of the local swimming club. I was approached to become a volunteer helper, and then the club put me through the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) teaching courses. Shortly after I was offered some work teaching children's lessons and declared it as a registered business interest whilst I was still in the force.

"As I approached retirement I knew that teaching swimming would be a great second career for me. I was getting more and more absorbed in the work, seeking out new methods of teaching to make up for the limitations in the standard ASA approach. I found about Shaw Method and Art of Swimming at the end of 2008, and discovered that they were recruiting and training new teachers.

"When I observed Steven Shaw (founder of Shaw Method and director of Art of Swimming) swimming and teaching I knew that this was a fantastic technique that would really suit what I was already trying to do in my lessons.

"Shaw Method differs from the ASA approach in that it teaches you to swim with the body, using good posture, alignment, and balance. This started to transform my own swimming. Once I had it worked out for myself I was able to apply the principles to my existing pupils who were instantly able to feel the benefit.
"Another big difference is that when you teach Shaw Method you get into the pool.

You demonstrate the practices and then you guide your pupils to achieve the same body positions and movements. Before I did the Shaw Method training I didn't have the confidence to do this. Now I feel that it is the only way to teach. The technique is particularly good for nervous adults, who gain confidence as a result of your physical and psychological support.

"I qualified as a Shaw Method teacher in April 2009 and it's fantastic. My pupils always come out of the pool smiling, and so do I. I've been very lucky to move from one job I love to another. Recently, after one of my swimming demonstrations, a pupil said to me, 'That's so graceful - you're like a swan.' Strangely enough, no one ever said that to me when I was in the force."

You can find out more about the Shaw method of swimming by reading our feature article on the Travel & Leisure Section.

If you are interested in learning with Tom, he teaches Shaw Method for the Art of Swimming company (AoS) at Nuffield Health in Letchworth and Hertford.

To book a lesson with Tom or one of the other AoS teachers based around the UK call 020 8446 9442
or visit:

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