Q&A with Swim Development Coach, Norm Jones

Norm ‘The Shark’ is back at Levante Beach Resort this season leading a Swimming Development Week (SDW). Ahead of the week getting underway from 18th September 2021, we spoke with Norm about his passion for the water and how swimming became such an important part of his life and career. 


Q. What interests you most about the sport of swimming?

A. It’s a sport for all – from the young to elderly it’s a great leveller; you can move through the water with the most basic skillset all the way through to using the upmost skill of an Olympic champion. Not only is it a great sport to actually do, it’s a great one to watch. Tokyo 202 was a great example of that!


Q. Tell us a bit about how you originally got into swimming?

A. Aged about 7 along with a group of friends I would go to the local pool and spend many hours in the water and swimming was something that seemed to come naturally to me. 
From pool swimming to open water competitions and triathlons its been a huge part of my life.


Q. What got you into swim development?

A. In my late teens I decided I would like to do a season working as a lifeguard at an English holiday camp so I did a lifeguard course and then got employment at a resort on the South coast for the summer. After a few weeks working at the resort the swimming teacher left and the management asked me to fill to take over until they got another teacher, but although not having any formal qualifications, it went well leading to me staying teaching for the whole season.

On my return to London I managed to get employment at Imperial College Sports Centre working as a Lifeguard. Along with my employment came the opportunity to gain ASA swimming and coaching qualifications which I embraced being really keen on gaining the knowledge to progress. I was then given a position of swimming coach and later swimming development officer, this involved organisation of local Schools using the facilities and organising  after Schools swimming lessons.

I was also leader coach for the College students swimming teams who competed in national student championships.


Q. How did your collaboration with Mark Warner come about?

A. We first went to Levante Beach resort in Rhodes in 2012, and having enjoyed it so much we have returned every year since apart from the covid restrictions last year.

In 2017 I was chatting with Rich (the assistant manager at that time) and like myself Rich is a big sports follower and participant.  Knowing my background in coaching Rich asked me about his idea to offer the guests a swim programme along the lines that other sports were offered at the Mark Warner resorts. As you can imagine I was very excited at the prospect of working at Levante with such ideal coaching conditions and in 2018 we did our first SDW which proved very successful.

And the rest is history! 


Q. What is the biggest benefit of taking part in a swim development course?

A. By taking part in a SDW you are developing your skills in ideal conditions; a training pool is the best place to learn and so it makes the perfection foundation.

Among the benefits the course will help to improve coordination, balance, flexibility, along with the social enjoyment of the group activity.


Q. Which level of swimming ability is the swim development course best suited to?

A. The great thing about a SDW is that it’s honestly perfect for anyone; from a non  swimmer to someone who seems for exercise to the competitive swimmer the way the course is structured will insure maximum benefit to all who attend.


Swim Development Week
Levante Beach Resort 
From Saturday 18th September 2021 

Find out more about Swim Development here.

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