Our Team

Dave Perry

davidDave Perry started working at the Shirley Pool in the summer of 1974, helping his Dad barrow the earth for the pool foundations as a schoolboy and returned full time in 1993 to run the business. Qualifying as a swimming teacher in 1981 and then as an ASA Tutor he has many years experience in the water and is the driving force behind the current teaching philosophy.

“We have been gifted with lovely teachers over the years, who really enjoy teaching children to swim. We have taken American and Australian influences and the best teaching practices we can find here to build the plan, but its always evolving. Consistency of teachers is vital and if you look at the other teachers on this page there are some common themes: they are all very proud of their work, love teaching swimming but most important, they have been here a long time. My Dad, Frank, designed the perfect teaching pools and I am proud to have built the business up from that foundation with the help of a great team ”

Viv Perry

jackAlthough Viv does not have regular toddler or baby classes, she will often be seen at the pool, stepping in to take an early morning class when a teacher can’t make it. It’s not just that she lives close to the pool though, Viv is also the longest serving baby teacher having started at Shirley in1990.

In those days, when the oldest boy, Callum, was at playgroup, Luke (2) would be sat on poolside with the playdo while Mum taught. Later, Jack, the youngest boy, would be juggled on an arm while Viv helped on reception. Throughout the development of the pool and building the business, Viv has been ever present and remains an active member of the management team.

These days, Viv mostly works on the management and accounts of the business, when she’s not swimming.

Baby and Toddler Teachers

Parent & Baby Teacher, Teacher

Heather joined Shirley Pool mid 2019 as a qualified Parent and Baby and STA Swimming Teacher.

Heather teachers Parent & Baby and Under 5 classes on Mondays & Wednesdays, she also recently started up running weekend Parent & Baby classes on Saturday afternoons.

Heather is a lovely member of the team whose classes are influenced by her motherly instincts.

Parent & Baby Teacher, Teacher

Attracted by the National ASA promotion for relocating swimming teachers, Philomena becomes the latest swimming teacher to relocate to the South Coast.

Born and raised in Birmingham and a full time swimming teacher for 7 years, Philomena was attracted by the huge number of lessons at Shirley. ” There’s no where like this back home, we have to scramble around different pools doing teaching here and there. The idea of living in the staff house and teaching in one place is great”

An trained Parent & Child teacher and  experienced ASA Level 2 Instructor,  Philomena is to be seen in both pools teaching at all levels.

Teacher, Aquafit Instructor, Lifeguard & Receptionist

img_6686“Babs” joined the pool, first as a lifeguard, then receptionist and now a trained  swimming teacher and Parent & baby swim teacher. Educated at St.Annes, Babs is a natural with children of all ages and a firm favourite in our Beginners. She has also recently become qualified to run Aquafit classes too.

” I love working here, the other teachers are so nice to me, I hope I can work here forever”

We hope so too Babs!


Head Teacher

Luke Perry has worked, on and off since 2002. Starting as a Saturday boy, Luke soon learnt the teaching methods and philosophies of the swim school and became qualified as an ASA Teacher.

He went on to gain Beach Lifeguard and Surf Instructor qualifications while studying & working in Cornwall.Luke used his experience as a part time chef to help launch the BIG RED Bus Cafe in 2014 and continues to help manage the ever growing swim school.

Luke is in charge of the plant room and leads the teaching team.


Ashley grew up in Ringwood in a swimming family. Mum was a teacher and Ash had to swim regularly if he wanted to spend time with her. It paid off as he became a National standard swimmer in his teens.

As an adult, Ashley fulfilled his lifetime ambition and swum the English Channel solo in 2017, raising thousands of pounds for a local charity. Now a qualified swimming teacher himself, Ashley teaches at the pool on a Monday.

Teacher, Lifeguard & Receptionist

Jacob is one of our many employees to have progressed from learning to swim at the pool. Jacob learnt to swim at the pool from a very young age, progressing up to Dolphins.  Starting as a lifeguard Jacob has now completed his Swim Teachers training and has started as a full time teacher.



Hailing from the Isle Of Wight Sam arrived in the summer of 2018 after completing his education as a primary school teacher.

Boasting seven years teaching experience, Sam has been brought up to speed with the unique teaching methods at Shirley Pool and is keen to get started.

” It’s great to be off the Island. I’m loving Southampton and the teaching methods here are so different, I’m really excited to get stuck in”


Jack has very early memories of the Shirley Swimming Pool. Born in 1996, he spent many hours at the pool while both parents worked full-time managing and teaching. Naturally, he became a swimming teachers assistant and then a teacher.

Starting on a Saturday morning at 14, Jack has always been popular with the children. With a calm, patient, persistent manner, Jack could often achieve results that evaded more experienced teachers.

Throughout school examinations, he kept up his duties and was rewarded with his own classes in 2013. After completing his A levels, Jack indulged his passion for bikes and took up employment in the workshops at a local cycle shop, but still couldn’t bear to leave his Saturday classes.



Natalie is our newest member of the team, she recently enrolled herself on to a Level 2 Swimming Teachers course and successfully got qualified. You’ll see Natalie in our pools learning and gaining experience from our current teaching team learning the way we teach.



Parent & Baby Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, Coach

AJAJ learnt to swim at Shirley Swimming Pool from a young age and went on to become a competitive swimmer for Southampton Dolphins, soon reaching the national level. Shortly after leaving Southampton Dolphins AJ realised how much she missed the pool and Dave offered to train her up as an assistant swimming teacher at the age of 14, giving her shifts on Saturday mornings.

By the time she was eighteen AJ was a fully qualified Level Two teacher and began full time employment at Shirley Pool. Since then AJ has become an aqua fit instructor, a mum of twins and is currently training to be an assistant coach for the Dolphins swimming club. In November 2017 AJ qualified as an ASA Parent & Child Teacher.

Reception Team


Michelle is the newest member of our team, joining us in 2020.

Recently moving from London back to Southampton to be near family, Michelle has has quickly become an great member of the team.


Tara joined the team at Shirley Pool in August 2019.

She previously worked in New Look and has joined the team here full time on Reception.

Within her first two days she qualified to become an Emergency Pool Responder. and you’ll find Tara working on Reception most days, always with a smile!


Natalie joined the Front of House team as a Receptionist in the Summer 2019.

She since qualified to become an Emergency Pool Responder.

Living locally, Natalie is never far from the pool, even her younger sister is learning to swim with us!

Having previously worked at the Harbour Hotel and the Grand cafe, Natalie comes with plenty of customer service experience


Molly joined Shirley Pool in 2019.

Having learnt to swim here when she was younger and seeing how much fun the team had teaching kids to swim she knew it was the ideal first job for her!

When Molly isn’t working she’s attending College studying Musical Theatre and English Literature and Language

Assistants and Lifeguards

Lifeguard & Receptionist

Carter joined the team at Shirley Swimming Pool in 2019 as an experienced Lifeguard having worked at Andover Leisure Centre.

You’ll see him on the front desk during the week and on Saturdays as well as running Pool Parties at the weekend.

Assistant & Lifeguard & Receptionist

“Jonny” learnt to swim at Shirley when he was 6 years old and returned as a lifeguard in 2016. When he is not working hard at college, Jonny opens the pool, lifeguards, checks the chemicals and assists with teaching.

A real all rounder and great team member, Jonny qualified as a level One swimming Teacher in July 2017. After A levels this year, 2018, we will lose him to University for the winter months.

Back Office and Management

Pool Manager

Kerry joined Shirley Pool in 2017 having relocated to Southampton following a 16-year Management career for ODEON Cinemas.

Diving straight into her role as Receptionist, Kerry quickly picked up the systems and became Front of House Manager in January 2018.

Since then she has continued to show her dedication and commitment to Shirley Pool and is now our Pool Manager, running the day to day operation of the Pool.

Back Office Manager

Joan started working at Shirley Pool, four days a week, in 2012 as the Back Office Manager in charge of direct debits and Human Resources. It was the first appointment of a permanent administrator. After thirty five years in the banking world, eighteen as a Branch Manager Joan took on the Shirley Pool role to give her a day a week with the grandchildren. Joan has been married for forty years and has two grown up sons.

You will seldom see Joan on your visits to the pool as she works in the portacabin, at the rear of the pool, but she is the one you can contact if you should be having any problems with your payments.

‘We have a great team of staff here at Shirley Pool who all aim to make your time with us as enjoyable as possible.’

Joan recruits new staff members and makes sure the everyone is looked after.

Big Red Bus Staff


Bus Chef


Gemma joined us in early 2020. Having previous experience in catering now runs the Bus on Friday and Saturdays.