All About Family Magazine interview with Steve Parry
All About Family had a chat to our boss Steve Parry, Liverpool born Olympic medallist, European Champion and Managing Director of Total Swimming about the importance of children’s swimming and his own experiences.
How important do you think getting children involved in swimming is and why?
400 people drowned last year which should be motivation enough. It’s on the National Curriculum and provides children with a life skill. There also is no better sport for children to do in terms of overall fitness.
Why did you decide to set up your learn to swim school, Total Swimming Academies?
I wanted there to be a high quality, community led learn to swim offer. There was no point me just saying not enough children could swim unless we were willing and able to do something about it. I’m incredibly proud of the temporary pool program we rolled out nationally which has taught over 100,000 children to swim.
Do you think the earlier children learn to swim, the better?
Absolutely. Like all things in life, being good at something requires confidence and if you start early you’ll never be scared of the water. I got my kids into lessons as soon as possible and am thankful at 5 and 3 they are now very confident in the water.
Who were your role models?
My dad is a perfect role model and I’ll never live up to his values in life but will try to. My mum is the kindest hearted person I’ve ever met and worked extremely hard to provide the best opportunities for me and my brother. I’m not being biased here - they are wonderful people!
I also admired a fella called Andrew Jamieson as a youngster who was an Olympic medallist in the 100 fly in the Olympics in 1988.
What advice would you give to younger people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Work hard, chase a dream you are passionate about and never let anyone limit your ambition in life. Don’t compromise on your values or integrity to get ahead but be laser focused on your goal. Work hard when others sleep and party and you’ll achieve things you never dreamed possible.
Have you overcome any major setbacks or challenges in your career? If so, how did you overcome them?
I’ve only really had 3 races that went the way I wanted them to in a 10 year international swimming career. There are 20 that didn’t work out, teams missed, medals lost and championships I bombed out of. Just don’t quit - be positive!
‘An Interview with Steve Parry’ was featured in the most recent edition of All About Family magazine, the largest distributed family-communication magazine in the North West.
For more information on the magazine, to view online content and to access an online version of All About Family, please click here.
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