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The Link4Life Swim Academy is designed for all ages – from babies to adults.

It is a clearly structured swimming and water safety programme designed by the Swimming Teachers' Association (STA), one of the largest swim teaching and lifesaving organisations in the world and delivered by Link4Life's highly trained swimming teachers at Heywood Sports Village, Middleton Arena and Rochdale Leisure Centre.

Children on the scheme love the sense of achievement from gaining colourful badges and certificates such as Starfish, Octopus, Goldfish, Angelfish and Shark. Parents can be sure that children are learning skills that will last them a lifetime and that they are encouraged to make good progress in developing these skills.

All children registered with the Link4Life Swim Academy have the added bonus of being able to swim for free in any public, casual pay as you go swimming session.

Other benefits include:

  • A continuous, rolling programme of high quality swimming teaching, running throughout the year (50 week programme)
  • A live progress report accessible via the homeportal. (Click here to access the homeportal.)
  • A free swimming hat – with a new colour issued at every different level

Flexible payment options including monthly direct debit or cash payments in 25 week blocks.

Our monthly direct debit scheme gives you a guaranteed place during re-enrolment without the need for queuing at reception. Direct debit members will only be contacted to arrange a change of lesson day/time and teacher.

Easy payment available to spread the cost and 25% discount on the Intensive Swimming Courses during school holidays.

Swim Academy Enquiries

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Frequently Asked Questions

Most Health Visitors recommend waiting until after your baby has had their first course of immunisations (8 weeks) although Government guidelines suggest swimming in public pools does not pose a risk to younger babies.

As long as the pool is warm enough it’s okay to take a baby of any age swimming. Mums should not swim until after their 6 week check. The Link4Life Swim Academy will teach people of all ages from birth.

How can I find out why my child did not progress and can I pay for private lessons to enhance their progress?

All the lessons are managed in accordance with the Swimming Teachers Association’s (STA) ILS programme with very specific criteria to be met prior to progress being made.

There are opportunities within the Link4Life Swim Academy for students to ‘top up’ their skills in 1:1 or 1:2 lessons. There are also opportunities in our holiday swimming lesson programme with a 25% discount for direct debit payers.

Contact your preferred swimming pool in person or by phone. You can enrol your child at reception.

Please note this is subject to availability and a waiting list is available for Your Link4Life Cardholders. You will need to complete the Swim Academy Registration Form.

Payment can be made by joining our direct debits scheme or by purchasing cash credits with a minimum of 25-credits purchased at any one time.

Booking information is available from reception.

The swimming lesson scheme is a continuous programme with a two week closure for Christmas. Lessons will not normally be scheduled on Bank Holidays.

Due to the ongoing nature of the swimming programme we cannot guarantee lessons on any particular day or time.

Visit your swimming pool, practice in the bath and shower at home – anything that will get your face wet and get you used to having water on your face.

Inform us of any relevant information which may affect you taking part in a swimming class – this includes special needs, bad experiences in water, phobias, medical conditions, etc.

* The Link4Life Swim Academy reserves the right to cancel classes and/or move students. In this event, all parents will be contacted and may cancel without penalty if there is not an acceptable alternative.

  • Close fitting swimwear (avoid baggy straps on swimming costumes, long, baggy shorts and sun suits with stud fastenings, as they hold water)
  • Swimming hat (provided on booking)
  • Goggles ensuring they fit correctly
  • Medication with your name on it

This will depend on the size of the meal and how vigorous you intend to swim, but basic good advice is not to eat for an hour before your lessons.

If your child is not well or if you are going to miss a number of weeks, the credits/direct debit will still be taken and your place will be maintained if you are in credit.

If you want to stop your credit/payments your child will be taken off the lesson system.

In the event of an unforeseen closure all inconvenienced students will be credited the full value of their missed lesson.

Every child booked onto the lessons will receive free swimming in any public, pay-as-you-go swimming session so they can practice the skills and techniques they have been taught as part of their lessons.

Badges and Certificates can be purchased from Reception.

All of the Academy’s swimming teachers are STA Level 2 qualified (or hold the equivalent ASA swimming teacher’s award) and hold a National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (or equivalent).

The Link4Life Academy is managed in accordance with the child protection policies and procedures of Rochdale Council.

All swimming teachers receive child protection training during their qualification course and every swimming teacher has been DBS checked as part of the recruitment process.

Swimming staff of the Link4Life Swim Academy will be clearly identified by a distinct uniform.

Weekly high quality swimming teaching, running 50 weeks of the year.

Your child will be given a coloured swimming hat in accordance with the level of their ability. New hats will be issued when your child progresses to the next level.

Free swimming is available as above with progress available online via the homeportal. Click here to access the homeportal.

Customer comment forms in which you can make a comment about any aspect of the Academy’s operations can be found at the Leisure Centre reception.

If you would like to make a complaint about the Link4Life Swim Academy this should initially be resolved by the sites management team. In the unlikely event that the issue is unresolved all complaints should be escalated to the Academy’s management group.

If sickness or diarrhoea is a result of an infection then you should wait at least 48 hours after the last bout before returning to your lesson.

All children not potty trained will be required to wear approved swim nappies under their swimming costumes.

We will endeavour to provide consistency in the teachers delivering lessons; however, there may be occasions when this is not possible.

All teachers covering lessons will have necessary qualifications to deliver the relevant sessions.

Link4Life Swim Academy Enquiry

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