Scots Olympian aiming for swimming academy to gain speed

The Olympic medallist behind his own eponymous swimming school is going to great lengths to scale the business, and is boosting the number of venues involved.

The Michael Jamieson Swim Academy is looking to regain momentum as lockdown restrictions ease, having before the outbreak of the pandemic had 24 full-time and part-time qualified instructors and regular teaching sessions at swim venues in Clydebank, Hamilton and Glasgow

The business had ben turning over £160,000 before March 2020, from a standing start and without any external funding.

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At its peak early last year, Mr Jamieson and his team were instructing up to 800 children and young people every week, “with informed forecasts that this would rise steadily to 1,200 or even 1,300 within a relatively short timescale”.

'We believe that everyone... should have the opportunity to learn to swim and take control of their swim journey,' says Mr Jamieson. Picture: contributed.

It has now been boosted by a bounceback loan from HSBC, and the University of Glasgow and Radio Clyde pools are now operating with capacity to teach up to 340 and 180 learners respectively, with further venues set to open.

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Hamilton College pool, with capacity for 600 learners, will re-open on September 6, while new venues the University of Edinburgh pool (200 learners) and Novotel Hermiston Gate pool (150 learners) will welcome back swimmers later that month, and Argyle Hotel, Glasgow pool (150 learners) on October 1.

Plans are also afoot to extend the range of the business further into the fitness and wellbeing sectors. Mr Jamieson said: “Students see our love for the sport come to life in the pool with our Olympic-led swim journey for kids and adults.”

His achievements in the pool include bagging the silver medal in the men's 200-metre breaststroke at both the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

He retired from competitive swimming in 2016, and having moved into business has been benefiting from financial and business guidance from professional advisers at Russell & Russell.

His key adviser at the latter firm, its MD Stuart Clark, said: “Michael has unique credibility in the world of swimming, especially in Scotland. Every parent wants their child to be able to swim, so market demand is consistent and growing. We believe firmly in Michael’s ability to become a major player in the market and to build the high-profile business it deserves to be.”

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