Shirley, AQUAnimals Founder. Shirley as a youngster was a Frontcrawl and Butterfly specialist in competitive swimming. Having represented at County and District level she turned to teaching and coaching in a bid to pass on knowledge and experience to younger swimmers at a time where Diss Otters Swimming Club was growing rapidly. For fourteen years Shirley coached in the evenings whilst working as an Account Executive by day for Insurance Brokers before starting a family with her husband Jamie. AQUAnimals the brand was established by Jamie who is also a coach & teacher about 8 years ago. Shirley brought this to life in 2015 when we began hiring pools in the South Norfolk area to provide specialist, small class sized swimming lessons. AQUAnimals grew in strength and demand for lessons with a well established reputation, turned into a need for more pool time. So we built our own pool! Project manager by day, mummy and wife in between, we now have a state of the art pool, in lovely modern, fresh environment with the best of the best equipment. We are welcoming, friendly and provide a lessons with a smile. Shirley loves teaching Baby & Pre-School classes and has a lot of fun with the after schoolers too!
Katie – has been teaching / coaching swimming since the age of 16 years old. Katie started off swimming competitively for Diss Otters Swimming Club and progressed to qualify as Level 3 Club Coach at the age of 18 years old and coached at Diss for 12 years. Katie over the last couple of years since having her little girl has taken up teaching after school swimmers for AQUAnimals and is looking forward to the new times ahead with our family run business. Katie, is Shirley’s lovely big sister.
Sophie – Joined the team in August 2017 at our new pool. Sophie, also a past Diss Otters competitive swimmer teaches Baby & Pre-School classes during the week. Sophie has a lovely gentle and welcoming approach to classes and has a wonderfully patient nature. She’s flexible and reliable, not only staff but a friend.
Jamie – Is the current Head Coach at Diss Otters by evening and works full time at Norwich City College as a Teacher for students with Profound, multiple learning difficulties. Jamie has to be the most patient person around. He gives anyone his time and always has a great point to add to any discussion. His passion is additional learning. Jamie wants to improve his delivery, be at the peak of his game and have the most up to date knowledge on all aspects of swimming. Very well respected around Norfolk & Suffolk, a gentle giant and a gentleman. An all round great swimmer, still holding the odd club record and trains very early mornings!
Valerie – Is Mum to Shirley & Katie. Valerie will be providing alot of our private lessons. A woman of multi talents, by day works for McLaren in the automotive industry. Whilst Shirley and Katie were swimming training as youngsters, Valerie volunteered as a coach for many years before qualifying as a teacher and coach herself. Valerie is brilliant at confidence building, technical improvements and gives her time willingly to benefit others that need just that wee bit more help.