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Pool Open

Another snowy day and yes we are open.

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Macmillan Cake & PJ Day

Shirley Swimming Pool will be hosting a ‘Cake and Pyjamas’ day in order to try and raise money for Macmillan cancer support, this Friday, the 29th of September.

This unique event will see our brilliant swimming teachers in their own PJ’s, and we strongly encourage our even more brilliant students to do the same!

Staff members will also be baking cakes to sell for a small donation, with all profits going to Macmillan.

If your child has a scheduled lesson on Friday the 29th please encourage them to bring their PJs instead of swim gear!

Alternatively if you do not have a scheduled lesson we would still love to see you! Come down in your PJs and enjoy some delicious cake all in the name of charity.

Staff will be in their casual wear all day, however we cannot promise the cake will last so ensure you get down here early!




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Swimmer Of the Year Award

Shirley Swimming Pool are delighted to announce that Ashley Christopher has been named as the pool’s swimmer of the year, and is to be nominated also for a national award.

The Southampton swimmer only picked up the sport again five years ago, having not swam regularly since his school days.

Training at Shirley Pool, and through the winter at Bournemouth beach for two years, Ashley racked up mile after mile in his quest to swim the English Channel

On August 1st, armed just with swimming trunks, goggles and some vaseline, Ashley’s brave Channel attempt launched from Dover at dawn, after an overnight drive from Southampton.

The swim didn’t start well,

“I always hate the first two hours of any big swim as I’m getting into my stride and getting used to the sea conditions and temperature. I was also feeling sick from the milkshake I’d had at 3am, I never feel sick normally and in my head I was thinking ‘Why the hell am I doing this?’ ” said Ashley.

“You can feel quite vulnerable swimming in the sea when you can’t see the bottom and wonder what’s down there. Any creepy thoughts you have, must be pushed out of your mind. I often just close my eyes when my face is down in the water and only look when I breathe. This was when I got my first jellyfish sting on the arm which felt a little worse than a nettle sting”

“It wasn’t long after the first that I felt the second sting across my face.” Ashley added.

“I think it was when I was ten hours in, when the crew said you’re three miles from the Cap Griz Nez, I was feeling good so I decided to up the stroke rate slightly. It was sometime after that, that my shoulder started to twinge”

The support boat fed some painkillers hidden in a banana, but they didn’t have the desired effect,

“The pain which started in my shoulder was now working its way down my arm. I wasn’t able to put any power through it and I became more reliant on my right arm. The worry of how long will each arm keep moving and the fear of failure dawned on me.”

Ashely’s dream swim was now turning into a nightmare.

“The pain was now shooting down my arm from my shoulder to my wrist with every stroke. I had to run through all the reasons why I am doing this”

“I tried mentally pushing the pain of my shoulder out of my head but it just didn’t work. I kept drifting away from the boat for some reason. I think I was just losing concentration due to the pain and fatigue.”

“At last I felt my hand touch the [sea] bottom and I stood up and walked up the beach, stretching my arms above my head, shouting. It was brutal, far beyond all my expectations.”

The successful solo crossing of the channel was completed in a staggering 13 hours and 40 minutes and  raised £3500 for a Southampton charity.

As well as completing the channel swim, Ashley found time to help many other swimmers from Shirley Pool make the tough transition to sea swimming.

Several had only learnt to swim recently as adults so had a steep learning curve. His inspiration has led to a team of swimmers entering a cross channel relay in 2019.

Every Sunday morning Ashley can be found at the beach offering encouragement and hot chocolate to budding open water enthusiasts.

For his dedication and determination but also for his consideration and generosity, Ashley Christopher has been named Shirley Pool Swimmer of the Year 2017. Star swimmer.

If you would like to learn more about the story, you can read the full report here – Ashley Channel Swim 2017 JT

Or you can read the story from the man himself. – Ashley Channel Swim Story Final

You can also view an interview with our star swimmer here.

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Shirley Pool Success at River Itchen Biathlon

The 12th annual River Itchen Biathlon was a success for Shirley Swimming Pool, as pool boss Dave Perry’s ‘Old Simmarians’ team brought home the trophy.

The Biathlon relay starts at the source of the River Itchen in Cheriton and follows the Navigation Way for 24.7 miles to Woodmill, where the swimmers take over and race the 2.5k down to the sea.

Helping to raise £1500 for the local Countess Mountbatten Cancer Hospice were five teams and eleven swimmers with sponsorship from local companies and suppliers to the swim school.

Running a close second were the debutant team from Southampton Triathlon Club, who were rewarded for their efforts with the trophy for the fastest finishing time.

The unusual event calculates the finishing times over the age of the participants, so the winning team, ‘Old Simmarians’, had a net time of 2:56:01, 20 minutes faster than the next best competitor.

Retired Shirley Pool boss, Dave Perry was helped to success by schoolmates John Cooney, Richey Pearson and Nigel Colmer.

In the swimming event Dave Smart, from team Clausentium, received an Aquasphere wetsuit as the first male home in a time of 32.12. Triathlete Kelly Wickens, swimming the Itchen race for the first time, received the ladies prize of an Aquashere wetsuit, finishing in 37 minutes 10 seconds.

£150 was also donated to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife trust and £50 to Surfers against Sewage, thanks to generous sponsorship from, Haines Watts, Hire It Tools & Equipment, Uptons Butchers, Finch Insurers, Faradays Electrical Contractors, GMA Mobility Aids, BSA Regal, Hannides Solicitors and Shirley Swimming Pool.

Full results can be seen here

Major prizes came from Aquasphere with two wetsuits, Speedo for goggles, Alton Sports and ABP Southampton Half Marathon.



For more information about the charity and how you can help, you can visit them directly at

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Summer Crash Course weeks three and four

Apologies for the delay in getting these images up on the website.

This years’ Summer Crash Course has been one of the most successful to date, having seen well over 100 Children dive right into the intensive learning style.

Weeks three and four were no exception with multiple students achieving their ‘1 Mile’ badges and higher!

These kids made a splash earning their ‘1 Mile’ badge: Frank Thorpe, James Dyer, Faye Cooper, Katie Yaldren and Daisy Llewellyn – whilst the impressive Scarlett Moody swam a staggering 2000m!

Week Four was just as outstanding, as three more children entered the famed ‘1 Mile Club’, including Jacob Webb and Henry Kollig.

We have thoroughly enjoyed this years courses, and we hope you have too! We would love to receive any possible feedback from you to make these courses as successful the next time we run them.

Group Photos!

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Potential New Classes

Shirley Swimming Pool are examining the possibility of opening five new classes throughout the week.

These classes will not be opened until we have enough interest to fill each class.

The classes would be as follows:

Monday’s @ 12pm, Parent and Child 18m+ being taught by Hailey.

Tuesday’s @ 9am, Parent and Child 6w-8m being taught by Vicky.

Tuesday’s @ 11am, Parent and Child 18m+ being taught by Vicky.

Tuesday’s @ 2pm, Parent and Child 18m+ being taught by Rosie.

Wednesday’s @ 12.30pm Parent and Child 9-18m being taught by Vicky and Layna.

If you have any interest in joining one of these would be classes, either call us directly and get your name onto the list, or visit us at the Pool.

To avoid any disappointment try and book as soon as possible.

Once the classes have enough interest and begin to fill up, we will contact everyone via phone or email to confirm.






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Summer Crash Course week two

Week two of the Summer Crash Course has come to an end.

Once again the Children exceeded expectations, with well over 25 taking to the water. 11 of these joined our famed ‘One Mile Club’.

The Summer Crash Course is a brilliant way to progress through the badge system here at Shirley Swimming Pool, and keep the children motivated to improve.

There are still plenty of spaces to book your child onto, you can do this by coming into the pool directly, or by ringing one of our Reception Staff. You can find all of our contact details here.

If you would like to find out some more information on the Crash Course, you can visit our Crash Courses page.

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Shirley Swimming Pool member Ashley Christopher completes charity swim!

Ashley Christopher, who has been a member at Shirley Swimming Pool since 2011, has finished his staggering 21 miles channel swim.

Attempting to raise money for The Society of Saint James, a Hampshire based homeless support group, ‘Ash’ (as he’s affectionately known here at Shirley Pool) decided to literally swim to France!

His charity campaign has been successful, having raised well over £3000, which will be put to good use by the Charity helping the less fortunate in and around Southampton.

We could not be more proud of Ash, and If you’d like to find out more about him, or The Society of Saint James, you can visit his Just Giving page here.


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Summer Crash Course week one

Shirley Swimming Pool’s annual summer crash course began in style this past week, with over 20 children taking to the water to form the first class.

The students were subject to intensive yet fun lessons throughout the week, and worked towards some of the available badges.

Students such as Mario Perez and Elijah Cheeseman earned their ‘1 Mile’ badge, while Danique Evans earned her ‘2000m’ badge.

There is much more fun to be had, and many more badges to be earned as week two of six commences today, July 31st.

The team are really excited about this years’ course, and you should be too! There are plenty of spaces left to book your child into.

More information about the crash course can be found here.




Managing Director Luke Perry with week one’s students.

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Aqua fit has been cancelled tonight due to teacher sickness. we apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused

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