New Swim School Launched in the City

John Doherty and Tara McConalogue. 110915CG
John Doherty and Tara McConalogue. 110915CG

The memories of swimming lessons are something that stay with us and a new swim school which has expanded into Derry aims to leave our little ones not only with a vital new skill but many happy memories.

Splash Swim School, which has been operating in Inishowen for the last two years, is now offering lessons at two separate pools in the city.

The school is offering lessons at D.W. Sports, Crescent Link, and it has just announced further lessons will be taking place in the City Hotel from September 19th.

The lessons at D.W. Sports are now fully booked, but a waiting list is in place for the future.

The business is run by two extremely experienced instructors, Tara McConalogue and John Doherty.

Between them they have spent more than 15 years in the industry.

Tara was previously the manager of the leisure and spa facilities at the Ballyliffin Lodge and Spa for eight years, while John is a teacher and a personal trainer.

They decided to branch out into Derry because people were travelling from the city to attend their lessons in Inishowen.

And those lessons in County Donegal will continue under five very capable staff at the Red Gate and the Milltown House.

Both John and Tara are fully trained and have all their qualifications necessary to provide swimming lessons.

The swim school is Swimming Teachers’ Association accredited and is part of their Swim Star Swim School Programme.

This programme has been newly launched by one of the world’s largest swim teaching and lifesaving organisations and is the first of its kind and is designed to help independent swimming schools achieve the highest standards of teaching.

After providing lessons for other businesses the pair decided to set up their own company.

“We made the call to DW Sports and they were more than happy for us to come on board. The demand for swimming lessons is massive in the city and within no time the lessons were fully booked,”declared Tara.

The lessons start for children age three and over. The instructors are also qualified to teach parent and toddler lessons and will be offering adult lessons in the near future.

Splash Swim School can also provide lessons for children with disabilities.

At the end of each block of lessons, each child will receive a qualification and a progression sheet to keep parents updated on how capable their child is in the water.

Tara and John clearly love what they do and hope to provide children not only with an important life lesson but allow them to have fun as well.

“Re-assuring the children at all times is key. We try to make them feel like they are part of the family. Build up their water confidence and have fun at the same time. All of this will help them to learn to swim. If they don’t have confidence in the water they won’t learn to swim” John said.

Tara added “I love seeing the children progress seeing them go from sitting at the side of the pool, being afraid to go in to jumping into the pool and swimming lengths.

“We are forever bumping into parents and their children after they are finished their lessons. While we might not remember the parents we will always remember the child! A lot of the kids we teach are with us from the age of three until ten so we get to know them quite well.”

For more details about how to enrol your child and for the cost of lessons contact 0755557308, search for Splash Swim School on Facebook or visit