Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

Our swim teachers are making a positive impact in the next generation of Swimmers

In line with water safety week (15 Nov – 21 Nov), we highlight the importance of learning to swim, a valuable life skill.


Tue, Nov 16, 2021,
posted by City of Sydney

“My favourite part about teaching is seeing all the kids turn up, excited to learn how to swim.”

Isabella Clifton is one of the great swim instructors at Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, and is loved by all of her students. She started working as a lifeguard in 2018 and became a swim instructor in 2019. You may also see her smiling face at the front desk as a customer support officer from time to time.

We joined Isabella for the PRIMARY 4 level swim class and enjoyed watching her impact the lives of Ansh, Nonnika, Nyssa and Isla. At this level children learn freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and dolphin kick. We had a short conversation with Isabella about her career and importance of swimming and safety in the water.

Why is learning to swim so important?

Isabella: “I feel like it is important for everyone, young or old to know how to swim. At ITAC there are many opportunities to learn how to swim whatever the ability is. What I find amazing is that we can offer this valuable learning experience to everyone... It also opens up new opportunities with different water-based activities such as water skiing or rowing."

Water safety week is held every year in November, and is a key time to highlight to our communities the importance of learning a valuable skill for life.

Isabella has grown up at Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, and learnt to swim in the same program she now teaches. She has also progressed through the aquatics program into squads, and competed for the City of Sydney Aquatic Club.

Isabella on the work environment

Isabella: “My favourite part of teaching is seeing all the kids turn up excited to learn how to swim... Working at Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre is always a great time because of the people I get to work with. The whole swim school has such a great connection... When I started my teaching hours, I was able to meet a lot of different people and observe their styles of teaching which helped me find my style of teaching.”

Message for future swim teachers:

Isabella "If you are considering becoming a swim teacher, just do it. This might sound cheesy but I believe being a swim teacher changes lives. You alter the way people feel and think about the water. From younger to older people, you can change their life by helping them be more comfortable in the pool."


Want to start your career, teach water safety and make a positive impact to the community of Sydney? Learn more about employment opportunities on our careers page. 

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