SHE’S the daughter of an Olympian and a former competitive swimmer but Gen Brewer’s new swim school is about safety, not training athletes.
Gen and her mother, Narelle, have opened Peregian Swim School, a private “boutique-style” school utilising Peregian Beach College’s 25m pool.
The pair come armed with Narelle’s experience running her Sydney swim school Brewer Swimming for the last 25 years.
“I love kids and always loved teaching kids and always had a goal of being able to open up my own swim school,” Gen said.
It’s the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for Gen, who was a swimming teacher for seven years in Sydney before moving to Noosa.
“There are just not enough learn-to-swim programs offered on the Sunshine Coast at the moment, for the amount of children that we’ve got – particularly in the Peregian precinct,” Gen said.
“There’s so many children going to school in that area that have not got an accessible learn-to-swim program.”
It’s never too early to start teaching children about swim safety, Gen says.
“So many accidents happen to toddlers because they’re not safe,” she said.
“It’s so important to familiarise them with how to be safe in and around water.”
Peregian Swim School has lessons for children as young as 12 months.
Gen and her two siblings had been in the water since they were “tiny” and had all been active members of surf lifesaving clubs.
“We see the importance of being safe at the beach not just in the pool,” she said.
“A big focus for us is making sure children have the skills to feel confident in the water both at the pool and the beach.”
Gen swam competitively from age 13 to 19, when she competed in the open (19 and older) backstroke 200m at a national level.
She also has a state medal in her “bucket of medals”, she said.
Gen’s father, Graeme, won bronze in 200m freestyle at the 1980 Olympics and was best known for being a member of the “Mean Machine” 4x100m freestyle relay team in the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.