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A Bit About Me

Hey, I’m Orlá and I am one of the founders of S.W.I.M. and I will be here to guide you through your swimming journey!


I have been heavily involved in sport for as long as I can remember and have always had a massive passion for fitness and well-being.


From as young as 3 months old I was brought to The Valley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey with my family for swimming on a Saturday and Sunday morning.  Then progressing onto lessons in the Arena Health Suite in North Belfast where my love for the sport grew immensely.


When I completed all the lesson stages at the Arena, I moved on to Alliance Swimming Club in North Belfast where I spent many happy days from the age of 8 right up until the age of 18. At Alliance I went through the stages of building confidence in swimming, progressing into higher levels, to eventually competing throughout Ireland representing Alliance. On top of representing my club I also had the opportunity to compete for my school of Dominican College, Fortwilliam and spent my 7 years in school attending school competitions throughout Ulster and Ireland. At the age of 15 I decided to start giving back to the club as they had helped me so much through my time competing and began volunteering at the learn to swim programmes with the next generation of swimmers. This is where I discovered my love and passion for teaching. From there I completed my Level 1 teaching certificate, safeguarding, lifeguarding and first aid courses to compliment my teaching and coaching journey. Since completing these courses I have spent the last 5 years working for a range of different Swim Schools and clubs in and around the local area where I have had the pleasure of working with both adults and children of all different ages and abilities to help them discover the joy of the sport.


Alongside my love for swimming, my involvement in running led me to take the leap and start competing in national triathlons from the age of 17 with the help of my coaches. Swimming in open water was a big change from the comfort of the pool that I had been so used to! Although triathlons grew to become a huge part of my life and I competed for myself and also my school throughout the country.


Throughout my whole swimming and triathlon journey I also have a huge interests in both strength training and GAA. When I have time away from the pool and university you are likely to find me in the gym or on the pitch!


Although my competitive swimming career has come to an end, I am so passionate about showing others the same love and passion that I still have for the sport through teaching.


In terms of education, sport was a huge part of my school life. I studied PE for all my 7 years of secondary school receiving a grade A in my GCSE PE and an A* in my BTEC sport studies in 6th year. As sports prefect in my last year of school I spent most of my free periods in the PE department!


Following my passion for sport I decided to continue my skills and development into university where I am currently in my final year of my undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science in Ulster University in both the Jordanstown and Belfast campuses.


Swimming has helped me develop the love and passion that I hold for sport, health and fitness and I am looking forward to helping you reach your full potential in the pool! 

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