Zoggs Swim Diaries: From non swimming mum to completing my first swimathon

Zoggs eCommerce & Digital Marketing Manager, and mum of three Jocelyn Kirby shares her journey from non-swimmer to successfully completing her first swimathon.


As a child I didn’t have swimming lessons. I was happy to jump in and play around and could do an odd doggy paddle-crawl hybrid stroke to get myself back to the side of the pool again, which at the time, seemed to be good enough. I missed out on a few things as a child because I couldn’t swim – the canoeing on the school camping trip when I was 12 and my friends’ swimming parties at Coral Reef in Bracknell; but it wasn’t enough for me to ask my parents for lessons.

And so that was that! I went through my teenage years avoiding deep water scenarios and as a young adult did not feel confident enough to want to get into a swimming costume in public. In my early twenties I tried a few times to get myself swimming but no matter how hard I tried, I didn’t seem able to manage more than half a length of frantic breaststroke which got me nowhere and probably looked more like drowning than swimming. I’m pretty certain that on a few occasions the lifeguards were ready to jump in and rescue me!

Then I had kids.

I was determined that they wouldn’t grow up to be the floundering, scared of the deep-end, non-swimmer that I was. So as soon as they were old enough to go in the water without me (at our swim school this was aged 3), I signed them up for lessons.

In less than a term they were swimming unaided for a width of the small pool. That’s when it really hit me. If I didn’t learn to swim properly, my children would be better swimmers than me in no time.

With my thirtieth birthday just around the corner, I bit the bullet and signed up for swimming lessons. Three years on and I have completed the 2014 2.5k Swimathon (that’s 100 lengths of a 25m pool!), am just about venture into open water and find myself working at Zoggs."

Learning to swim has literally changed my life.

Read more about Jocelyns Swimathlon challenge here