Masters Swimmers are passionate about swimming and enjoy the thrill of a good competition at any age. Swim Teachers on the other hand get satisfaction when their students learn to enjoy and be safe in, on or around water for life . Some of our AUSTSWIM licensed and trained teachers balance both these roles perfectly. Let us find out from some of them who take classes and win finals.
SIDDARTHA SALAGU, Hyderabad: Swimming in a river to handling the swim programme at Oakridge International School has been quite a journey for Siddartha. What started as a means to train for the services fitness test has become his career.
In 2002, he started teaching swimming at pool in Hyderabad. An ex Army diver, Chari introduced him to different strokes and recognized the potential he had to teach swimming & compete. Soon, Siddu as he is fondly called was taking regular classes and has taught more than 5,000 children. This has made him quite a popular figure in the Hyderabad swimming circle.
A national medalist in swimming himself, success has followed him wherever he has gone. He worked at the Kennedy School for 8 years, post which he moved on to the Oakridge International School (Einstein Campus) where Siddhartha was part of the special AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming & Water Safety Course. Siddhartha has overseen their swim teaching and competitive programme for a few years now and has 400 medals to his swimmers’ names to show for it.
He loves swim teaching and cannot deny the excitement of competitions. That is the reason why he trains everyday. Being adept at both has come through his determination and his internationally recognized AUSTSWIM certification. He strives everyday to become a better teacher and faster swimmer.
His favorite strokes are Freestyle and Breaststroke. At the recently concluded National Masters Swimming Competition in Vizag, Siddu won a silver in 4X200m medley relay. At the state Masters meet earlier this year, he won a gold in the 200m IM and silver medals in 50m & 100m backstroke and silver medal in 100m breaststroke.
Radhika Mandava, Vijayawada: Radhika has always been into sports. It was not till the birth of her daughter though that she got into swimming. That was 12 years back and today she has been a swim teacher for 9 years. She knows that she may not have ever discovered the joys of swimming if it hadn’t been for her knee pain.
With support from her family, she learnt swimming at the KC Reddy Swimming Pool, Bengaluru and hasn’t been able to shake off the water bug since. What started as a means of therapy soon became an obsession. The need to perform in a sport led Radhika to many Masters meets. Amazed by how little people in her hometown cared about swimming, she decided to lead the change.
Having tried her hands at teaching in a school, she exchanged the classroom for the pool. Soon, kids and women flocked to her classes to learn swimming. She participated in the AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety course earlier this year, and believes that it gave her the fundamental skills that will now maximize her potential as a swim teacher
Backstroke and Breaststroke are her favorite strokes. At this year’s National Masters meet, Radhika won a silver medal in 100mts
Butterfly and a bronze in the relay. At the state masters meet earlier this year, she won gold medals in the 50m & 100mts Butterfly, 100m backstroke and 200mts IM.
Lakshminarasiah K, Bengaluru: Better known as Lakshman, is another swim teacher with an eye for the finish line. Born and brought up in Pavagada (Tumkur District, Karnataka) he followed his father’s footsteps into becoming a shepherd.
When he used to take the cattle out, he would often take them near a pond where they would spend hours at a stretch. Once he entered the pond, the feeling it brought along was something that he could not let go of.
As the years went by, he found himself working as a security guard at the MS Ramaiah Hospital. Soon enough the need to be near a swimming pool pushed him to his next job as pool maintenance staff at the Jayanagar Swimming pool. For 5 years he worked there till, Nataraj, a swim teacher at the pool suggested that Lakshman should try his hand at teaching.
His paths crossed with Sri Gopal, first NIS certified swim coach in Karnataka who spotted his talent and introduced him to Masters swimming. From swimming in the pond, Lakshman went on to leave an illustrious trail of medals at multiple levels.
2012 was when he joined NAC (Netkallappa Aquatic Center), an AUSTSWIM recognized swim center. Lakshman is a licensed AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety and this certification has given him great practical and fundamental knowledge of swimming and water safety.
Lakshman is looking forward to complete the AUSTSWIM Teacher of Towards Competitive Strokes on his journey towards becoming a coach.
His favorite stroke is Breaststroke. At the State Masters Meet this year, Lakshman won a gold in the 100mts Butterfly, bronze in 100mts Freestyle and bronze in 200mts IM.
Masters swimmers have a high level of passion for swimming and Swim Teaching is a great way to give back to the sport. We are proud to have many of our swim teachers win medals and teach a skill for Life.
Cheers to our Masters Swimmers!!!