At just 24, Henry has already lived a life filled with adventure and cultural immersion, all thanks to his unexpected journey into the world of teaching swimming. Now, as he reflects on his experiences, he shares how his decision to become a swimming instructor not only funded his university studies but also opened doors to travel and work abroad.

It all started when Henry was just 16, lending a hand at his local swim school in Leicester. Little did he know that this Saturday job would shape his future in ways he could never have imagined. Encouraged by his swimming teacher mentor, Henry pursued his Level One and Level Two Swimming Teacher Qualifications with the Institute of Swimming whilst studying for his A Levels, before embarking on a years’ School Sports Apprenticeship and then starting his degree in Coaching and Sports Science at University.

He worked as a swimming teacher throughout his studies, in a part time capacity, working a few afternoons/evenings a week, which helped to top up his student finances. Henry says: “I’m so pleased I got my swimming teaching qualifications while I was younger, as swimming teaching has opened up so many possibilities for me. With it’s flexible hours it’s a great way to earn good money whilst studying, and it’s given me opportunities to travel, to try new things, and given me great life experiences too.”

After graduating from University, Henry’s swimming teaching qualifications took him to Turkey, where he became a Swimming Coach at one of TUI’s Holiday Villages. Henry recalls his time in Turkey with fondness, describing it as the summer of a lifetime. Working from April to November, he not only honed his swimming teaching skills, but also immersed himself in the vibrant Turkish culture. With accommodation and meals provided, Henry had the freedom to explore, make new friends, and create lasting memories.

Henry says: “I had the summer of my life in 2023 and grew so much as a person; I gained a lot of confidence. Living abroad and having your accommodation provided is amazing. There’s nothing quite like waking up in Turkey, which also has its advantages for days off!

I made some friends for life who are like family to me. I made memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. There really was never a dull moment.” The experience didn’t just end there for Henry. Fuelled by his newfound confidence and sense of adventure, he sought out more opportunities abroad. From working as an Elf in Lapland during the winter season to returning to Turkey for the summer 2024 season for another stint as a swimming teacher.

For Henry, the beauty of teaching swimming lies not only in the rewarding nature of the job, but also that his Institute of Swimming qualifications are recognised globally, meaning he can use his skills to work and live anywhere around the world.  Looking ahead, Henry dreams of further adventures abroad, inspired by his passion for teaching and exploring new cultures. With each stroke he teaches, Henry knows he’s not just imparting swimming skills, but also creating memories that will last a lifetime.

What began as a part-time job evolved into a passion and a ticket to the world. As he continues to inspire others in and out of the water, Henry’s story serves as a reminder that sometimes, the most unexpected paths lead to the greatest adventures.