1:1 Private Lessons

Does your child need some extra help in achieving the next class up?

Perhaps you want to work on refining your stroke technique or would like to gain more confidence in swimming?

These lessons are a great way for our instructors to tailor the lessons directly to your needs and offer that extra support.

Level 1 Instructor lessons: 30-minute lesson £25 or a block of 5 £100

Level 2 Instructor lessons: 30-minute lesson £30 or a block of 5 £120

The lessons will be held in our main pool. Call our reception team on 023 80781901 for further details or feel free to come in and see us and complete an interest form

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Star Swimming Sisters

From doggy paddle to 2,000m in a week? It’s true. An amazing week on the last crash course. The Sawyer sisters started the week as beginners, only able to doggy paddle. Working their way through the breathing technique and the strokes, they learned that swimming is easy- if you stay flat and breathe out in the water. To prove it, on the final day Olivia swam 100m using basic front crawl and backstroke, Isabelle swam an amazing 2,000m. Thats 80 lengths. Wow! Fast learners and the weeks star swimming sisters!

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Swim Club Autumn Schedule

Weekly session schedule

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Shirley Dad to swim the Channel

Swimming the channel

"My children could swim and I couldn't"Meet the man who's taken the plunge and is now swimming the channel 🏊

Posted by BBC Radio Solent on Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Chris Cole made sure that all his children learnt to swim from a young age. They all became excellent swimmers. Then it was his turn. Terrified by school swimming lessons, he just never got around to learning to swim. In 2010 he took his first steps into the small pool at Shirley, his only aim was to get enough confidence to swim in the main pool, for 25m. Now he is set to swim the English Channel. Watch his recent interview with Radio Solent .

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Gala success

Swimmers from the Dolphins and Turtles squads took on Locks Heath Swim Squad in a fun gala at Shirley Pool last Saturday. The Squad form Shirley ran out comfortable winners despite some fast swims from Locks Heath. For many of the Shirley kids it was their first swimming gala and, though racked with nerves, loved the experience. Forty four personal best times were produced by the swimmers, every Shirley child improving their performance for the gala.

Some of the Shirley Swimmers

The sprint gala finished with a real treasure hunt and free pizza slices.

The full results are here

Personal Best times 10 and under

Personal Best Times page 2 10 and over

Picture Gallery

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Races for Saturday’s Gala

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Free Swimming for Schools

Shirley Pool is offering local schools a guarantee to teach all of their children to swim.

A new government initiative to combat a rise in obesity and encourage exercise in young people has given schools an additional £20,000 a year to focus on sport and swimming in particular.

Yet research shows that schools are falling well below the required standard.

The government guidelines state that every child should leave primary school able to swim. Swim England, the National Governing Body for swimming, states each pupil is required to be able to do the following:

  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water based situations
  • Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • Use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke.
Monitoring swimming and water safety in primary schools

Swim England’s Research has consistently shown that only half of pupils meet the required standards, only 34 per cent of Year 6 pupils can perform safe self-rescue and a third cannot swim at all.

Now Shirley Pool is offering to help those school get closer to those goals.

“In the past schools have had little resource to teach swimming with most school pools demolished years ago. This is a great opportunity for the schools to seize the initiative. ” says Shirley Pool’s Luke Perry” We are so confident that we can teach every school child to swim, we will continue to teach them for free until they can”

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said:

“Swimming is a vital life skill that is proven to boost both physical and mental wellbeing.”

“We are committed to ensuring that every child who leaves primary school is able to swim. This plan will support schools and the sport sector to get more children swimming confidently and learn water safety.”

Swimming and the national curriculum

The popular teaching centre in Kentish Road was first opened in 1974 and has since taught thousands of children to swim in purpose built pools. The pool are offering local schools in Southampton help to work towards the goal of teaching 100% of year 6 pupils to swim.

“I am hoping for an opportunity to discuss our ideas, I think the secret is to start early, year one or two” said Luke. ” Most parents take their children swimming or to lessons from a young age, but there are too many that slip through the net, for a variety of reasons. They are the ones we need to reach”

Government website

Swim England website

Shirley Pool 023 8078 1901

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Saints Swim Team

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STA Level 2 Swim Teacher Course – Book Now!

Shirley Pool is running the STA Level 2 Swim Teachers course this Summer from 12th – 16th August.

The STA Award in Teaching Swimming is the perfect step to begin your exciting career as a swimming teacher and with no previous experience required, you can get started right away. You just need to be at least 16 years of age and become an STA Member

Course Fees:

5 Day course consisting of practical and theory training at £500 per person. Shirley pool members will receive 50% off course fees


Full payment is required at the time of booking, this can be done by telephone using any major credit card: 023 8078 1901. Alternatively, you can pop in to book at Reception.

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Channel Swim Challenge

Please make a donation. All the money raised goes directly to the charities.

A team of swimming teachers form Shirley Swimming Pool are training for one of their toughest challenges yet – Swimming The Channel!

The team not only have to pull their weight across the busiest shipping channel in the world- they are also taking one of their pupils with them.

Southampton GP, Chris Cole, could not swim when he went to his local pool for his first adult swimming lesson in 2010, aged 40.

“All I wanted to do was swim a length of the main pool without panicking. My kids had all learnt at Shirley so I thought I had better have a crack” . Now he will be doing lengths of the channel, with just jellyfish for company.

It is a remarkable story, to go from an adult non swimmer to crossing the Channel in ten years. Chris is modest about his achievements, crediting those who have helped him along the way.

“If I can learn to swim, anyone can. It was scary and felt embarrassing but once you’ve taken the first step it gets easier. “

However, his team mates have dubbed him the Eddie the Eagle of swimming and nominated him for the Adult Swimmer of the Year award. If the relay swim goes well, Chris will attempt a solo crossing in 2020.

Looking after him will be his mentor, swim teacher Ashley Christopher , a seasoned campaigner, with a solo crossing under his belt already, ” Chris has made the transition from lessons and now swims every weekend in the sea with us, even in the winter”

The England Channel is considered to be one of the most iconic sea swims in the world, with swimmers travelling from every continent to attempt it. More people have climbed Everest than swam the Channel.

Shirley Pool Seadogs will attempt to swim the Channel as a team of 5, each swimming for an hour at a time, aiming to raise £10,000 for two local charities: The Countess Mountbatten Cancer Hospice at West End and the homeless charity, Society of St. James while conquering swimming’s Mount Everest.

Please make a donation. All the money raised goes directly to the charities.

Leaving from Dover’s Shakespeare Beach, and as the crow flies the distance is 21 miles but due to the tidal current the swimmers normally cover over 30 miles. So the quicker they swim, the less distance they have to travel. The experienced boat pilot will try to land the final swimmer on Cap Gris Nez, France. If they are too slow and miss the Cap the team can expect to swim for another few hours.

This swim will have multiple challenges that include starting in the dark and ignoring the 16c sea temperatures without wet-suits.There will be swarms of jellyfish as well as flotsam and jetsam to swim through. Bouts of sea sickness from unpredictable weather and all the time trying to cross the busiest shipping lane in the world. The Seadogs hope to complete the crossing in under 15 hours.

To qualify for the event under the British Long Distance Swimming association rules, each team member completed a two hour non wetsuit swim while the sea water in the Solent was less than 16 degrees. Chris Cole did a six hour qualifying swim at Dover.


Swimmers- Chris Cole, Dave Perry, Luke Perry, Steve Hansford and Ashley Christopher.

Reserve Swimmer- Natasha Bye-Brooks

Steve Hansford (59) is an experienced open water swimmer and a regular with the Seadogs from Shirley for some twenty years

Head teacher at Shirley Pool, Luke Perry (30) is the youngest of the Seadogs but is a veteran of the sea and no stranger to being wet. A beach lifeguard and volunteer coastguard, when he is not teaching Luke spends his spare time surfing.

Natasha Bye -Brookes started sea swimming last summer and is absolutely hooked. “It is cold, but I go whenever I can. I love it!” Natasha is a former teacher at Shirley Pool and started swimming there as a child under the original head coach, Frank Perry. Natasha is first reserve for the Channel team.

The oldest member of the team is pool owner Dave Perry. “The channel swim is a challenge I never thought I would get involved with, I prefer the warm pool water. But they are worthy causes and I am proud of Chris’s progress. It just shows what can be achieved if you stick at it”

Chris talks about learning to swim

Please make a donation. All the money raised goes directly to the charities.

Ashley on the Shirley Pool & the solo channel
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