Jo and Caroline set up Aqua Academy all the way back in 2005 after a long history of friendship together through their own club-swimming ventures. Back then, Aqua started as a modest, local swim school, with 90 swimmers, taught solely by the two of them. Over the years, Aqua’s award-winning reputation and history of customer-satisfaction has seen it grow to become one of the South’s largest and leading private swim schools, with dozens of staff sharing Jo and Caroline’s passion for providing quality swimming lessons with small class sizes.
World and European Champion Jo Corben continues to be a world-renowned Masters Swimmer, being the age-group World Record holder for both 100m and 200m Backstroke long-course. Additionally, Jo holds European records in both long and short course events over five consecutive age groups, from the year 2000 to present day.
Throughout her own swimming career, Jo has a history of successful teaching and coaching with local swimming clubs and currently teaches weekday mornings and evenings at Aqua.
Her Co-Director, Caroline McCulloch, swam successfully as an age group competitor and represented her County as well as qualifying for National Age Groups. Caroline has also enjoyed successful campaigns as a triathlete and three-time solent swimmer, being the fastest female during one of her crossings.
During a year of travelling in Australia, she gained her Australian Water Safety and Swimming Teacher qualification and gained substantial teaching experience. On her return to the UK, Caroline took up competitive swimming again as a Masters swimmer. Caroline teaches throughout the week with Aqua and is a qualified Adult & Child instructor.
Our Administration Manager, Jane Fisher, has been with Aqua since 2007. As the first point of contact for customers, she will usually be found at our admin desk on poolside. In addition to the handling of payments, Jane will also answer any queries relating to groupings and class transfers. In the event of an absence, customers can discuss the possibility of a ‘catch-up’ lesson, and Jane will try her best to accommodate them.
Before joining Aqua, Jane worked as Teaching Assistant for a local primary school, meaning she has an extensive history of liaising with parents.
All of Aqua Academy’s teachers are trained to the highest standard, with ASA and STA Level 1 and 2 professional qualifications. Our staff are highly-experienced with decades of swim teaching between them. Senior teachers such as Lisa and Ryan have both been with Aqua for more than 10 years, whilst others have joined us as college and university students immediately after completing their training.
Aqua Academy prides itself on giving young people a start to employment and responsibility, and therefore has a long history of recruiting local school-leavers and college-starters. Every Aqua Academy lifeguard holds their RLSS National Pool Lifeguard Qualification or STA equivalent. Many of our lifeguards progress on to a teaching role, including former longstanding Aqua team member Ben, who is now an RLSS Trainer-Assessor whilst serving as chairperson for the British Universities Lifesaving Clubs Association.
Our lifeguards will be found on poolside, patrolling the pool and ensuring all swimmers are remaining safe during their lessons. All lifeguards are required to maintain their qualifications, meaning regular training or refresher courses.