Romsey swim teacher, Claire Ludwell, is retiring after 43 years in the pool. Qualifying in 1974, the 73-year-old has taught generations of Hampshire families to swim.
Claire has been teaching at The Rapids in Romsey since 1990, joining the Valley Leisure team from day one. Over the years, she has also taught at Winchester’s River Park and Romsey Life Saving Club.
Claire has also collected a Special Recognition Award at the 2014 Romsey and District Sports Awards and was a runner up in the Southern Water Best Teacher Award category.
About her time teaching, Claire said: “I have loved every minute of it! Teaching a life skill to all ages to stay safe as well as have fun is very rewarding. Watching any age person swim is rewarding and you never lose the excitement of it. Watching any person progress is very rewarding too.”
“I will miss everything! My colleagues and the contact with people I have taught along with the parents. I will also miss the rapport I have with the parent and toddler groups” she added.
Claire has taught all three generations of one family. She taught grandparents Ron and Stellar Cobbs who were originally taught by Claire at the old Crossfield Hall swimming pool, their two daughters Fiona and Abi, and their four sons.
As well as teaching, the water woman also ran a playgroup from her home for 15 years and became a special needs teacher at Ampfield School for 11. Keeping busy, she has also taught at Crosfield Hall and for the past 40 years, Claire has volunteered at the Romsey Show.