My daughter Poppy joined the Academy of Swimming squad program in May 2012. She was originally to join at Malvern, but we heard they were coming to GESAC, near us, I decided to enrol her there.

She swims with the Academy 5.00pm to 6.15pm Monday through to Thursday and most Saturday mornings. She has always enjoyed swimming and did well at the Primary School District Swim in late 2011.the school only got as far as the Divisions, but it was a cathartic experience for Poppy.

She came first in her events, and wanted to take up squad swimming. As we knew Rodney and Judy and saw them I action at Harold Holt (I used to swim there after work about three days a week, taking Poppy with me for a play) I was keen to enrol her with them. The we heard they were coming to GESAC and we would not have to travel to Harold Holt.

She was assessed and allocated a Level, an started squad with the Academy as soon as GESAC opened it’s doors. The process was friendly, easy and uncomplicated.

I am impressed with their work with their students, and impressed by how Poppy’s skills and self-discipline has grown. Her stroke, speed, and technique and stamina have improved enormously, but so has her self-discipline and drive. However I have watched all their students as I sit after a swim myself, and can say this of all of them. Poppy has moved into wearing an M1 cap, and an M1 State Team cap. She is so proud. They have all these ways of encouraging small achievements and big ones.

Poppy did not do butterfly when she joined, she now does and competed butterfly at the recent Encouragement Swim at Balwyn Pool held by Kew Swimming Club. She is entering Butterfly at the upcoming Gala.

They are fair, consistent, encouraging and great coaches, who keep a close eye on each student, correcting, encouraging, and unfailingly patient. They keep the students’ attention, keep their discipline high, and never lose their sense of humour. They are polite and mannered, and remarkably, the students react in the same manner, polite and well behaved. They show compassion where compassion is due, understanding when a student is overtired or ill.

They are always professional. They assist us parents with their recommendations, assistance in entering events, always coming straight back on queries.

We are kept informed of events, dates, holiday time tables. They run like clockwork. I have made the right decision in placing my daughter Poppy in their hands. I would not place her elsewhere. She would not go elsewhere either. It is like family now.

Lea Bushell B.A.,LL.B.