Swimming teacher retires after more than 20 years at Daventry Leisure Centre

Jean Parkin
Jean Parkin

A Daventry teacher has hung up her swim hat after delivering swimming lessons at Daventry Leisure Centre since the day it opened more than 20 years ago.

Jean Parkin, from Daventry, has taught thousands of men, woman and children from across the district how to swim over the last two decades, but it is now time for her to wave goodbye to teaching.

The 69-year-old began her aquatic career in 1981 when she started as a lifeguard. Excelling through the ranks, Jean found a love of teaching and achieved her swim teacher accreditation in the same year.

Now, after more than 20 years at Daventry Leisure Centre, Jean has made the decision to retire from teaching.

"I have taught thousands of children and adults how to swim, from first-timers right through to competitive athletes," she said.

"Swimming is such an important skill that could one day save someone’s life, and I am honoured to have helped so many people learn this essential skill.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Daventry Leisure Centre, and I wish all my colleagues and swimmers all the very best."

To commemorate the last class Jean delivered, colleagues and members presented her with gifts and cards as a token of their gratitude for her dedication for encouraging the community to learn the life-saving skill.

Jamie Brightwell, general manager at Everyone Active’s Daventry Leisure Centre said: “Jean is extremely passionate about teaching this life-saving skill to people across the district, and she has changed the lives of so many people throughout her career.

"We will miss seeing Jean lead classes from the front, but look forward to seeing her enjoying a more leisurely time in the pool."

Alan Hills, community, culture and leisure portfolio holder at Daventry District Council, said: "I wish Jean well in her retirement. She has certainly earned some leisure time, I would like to thank her for her contribution to swimming over the last 20 years."