**This post is a sponsored post. While we were paid for this article, all opinions expressed are our own.**
Understanding basic swim skills is important for all ages from swimming pools, being around the ocean, and even in the bathtub. This is where the British Swim School comes in - their mission is to ensure that every person, regardless of age or ability, has the opportunity to become a safe and happy swimmer. We spoke with Robert Stapf, franchise co-owner of British Swim School Hudson Waterfront, about the program. They currently have six locations throughout Hudson County and just opened a new location at Lincoln High School in Bergen-Lafayette.
The premise of British Swim School goes beyond becoming a good swimmer; you actually teach survival skills to the students.
According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of five years old. At British Swim School, we don’t just teach children how to swim -- we teach survival skills first. These skills are tools that swimmers will have for a lifetime and are the building blocks for refining strokes once they’ve been mastered. We teach swimmers of all ages, starting with babies as young as three months all the way up to adults.
Where does the name British Swim School come from?
We are often asked where the “British” in our name comes from. Our signature method was developed by a former national swimmer for England by the name of Rita Goldberg and she named the school “The British Swim School” when she opened her first U.S. location in Florida.
Tell us more about Survival Week – sounds like a National Geographic Show.
We hold all of our lessons in street clothes. This prepares our students for an accidental fall into water - a scenario under real-life conditions. We are the only swim school who offers this extra level of safety training.
How did you get involved with opening your locations?
When I first heard about British Swim Schools’ unique teaching method and business model – subleasing existing pools to teach premium survival lessons in small groups – I noticed that there is nothing comparable in our area. There are so many children in need of quality year-round swim lessons, so I decided to get involved and bring their program here to Jersey City and Hudson County.
Who do you own the franchise with and how does your partnership show in the business?
It’s me and my wife Anthea. My wife is also a police 911 dispatcher, so you can say that we are both saving lives in our jobs!
You opened your first location in 2017 and in two years have really expanded.
Our first location was June 2017 in Secaucus, at the Xchange at Secaucus Junction Complex. Our mission is to save as many lives as possible and we have heard from many Jersey City residents who don’t live downtown that they would love to have us closer and more accessible to them.
So you then opened a new location in Bergen-Lafayette at the indoor pool at Lincoln High School.
We are very proud that we can finally bring our important service into the wider community. A lot of businesses focus on the downtown Jersey City area, but we want to bring water safety to all of Jersey City. This is just the first of several locations that we are planning to open outside of downtown.
If we are a parent thinking about signing up for classes, what advice do you have for us?
While many parents start to think about swim lessons as summer approaches, we highly recommend starting earlier. This allows your child to be safe and for you to be worry-free by the time pool season starts, not towards the end of it. That’s also the reason our program is year-round indoors in heated pools.
Another benefit of starting now is that you beat the summer rush, classes are not as full and there’s a higher chance that you can start right away, and get a time slot that is convenient for you. In our experience, when you decide to start lessons in April or May, you most likely have to get onto a long wait list. It’s the smart thing to start now!
You can get more information and enroll online at https://britishswimschool.com/hudsonwaterfront or call their local team at (201) 676-3630.