top of page

Jemma's Story

Saturday 12th August 2000

Last night I thought for ages about swimming with Adrienne Bell.  I decided that I really want to be able to swim, and not be frightened and maybe Adrienne really will help me. That must be the most positive thought I’ve ever had about swimming!  I suppose even thinking that is progress!  Nanna said she was the one to help me. and I’d do anything  Nanna says.  There’s no way I would do it if it had not been Nanna who told me. 

So, this morning, I phoned Adrienne. I know it sounds silly, but I was even nervous phoning her, because I knew that it meant I would have to try to swim.  Even the thought makes me feel sick.  Adrienne called round and we talked about my fear.  She was really nice and I felt better after we talked - we even arranged lessons!! I’m really glad it won’t be a class, as it will just be me.  I was thinking about swimming all day, feeling butterflies in my tummy.  Adrienne seems too nice to be a Swimming Instructor, she is far nicer than the ones in school!  Even though I still feel nervous, I think it will be much better than the lesson I went to in School.

Monday 14th August 2000

Today I had my first lesson with Adrienne. Before it I was very nervous.  I spoke on the phone with a lady called Fiona, who was terrified until Adrienne helped her.  It was really good to talk to someone who had felt the same and could understand how I felt.  Before I felt really stupid, because nobody else was frightened, and so nobody really understood what I felt like.  After the lesson I felt really proud and pleased with myself.  I could put my face in the water and open my eyes, and I can nearly swim with the floats!!  At times I felt frightened and panicky, but I trusted Adrienne and I think that helped a lot.  Doing things in the water the second time wasn't’ as bed as the first.  I’m sure that I’ve progressed more in that one lesson than I’ve ever done before.  It’s the first time I’ve come out of a swimming pool without crying!  

Tuesday 15th August 2000

Today I went for my second lesson with Adrienne. Today’s lesson felt longer than yesterday’s. I still really hate putting my head under the water. I don’t think I progressed as much as I did yesterday, but I’m still much better than I was. 

Saturday 2nd September 2000

I was still nervous before today’s lesson.  I really progressed today though. Adrienne took me into the diving pool were it was very shallow.  While I was doing what Adrienne was telling me to do, she says, “Jemma, what are you doing?”  I was very puzzled and I said, “Well, just moving.” “And what do you call moving in the water?” Adrienne asked.  Even more puzzled, I said “Swimming!?”  I couldn't believe I was actually swimming, and I still can’t!!  I always though it was much harder, I never had any idea what it felt like.  I looked up to the Viewing Gallery and saw my Mum’s face. By the look on her face I knew that I really must be Swimming! Mummy told me she couldn’t believe it and she even had a lump in her throat!  She thought I was like a different person.  I felt so please with myself, I felt like I had achieved so much.  I actually asked when the next lesson could be!! 

Monday 4th September 2000

Today I went swimming again with Adrienne.  I still can’t believe I can actually SWIM.  I never thought that I would be able not to be scared, never mind actually Swim.  It feels so different going into a swimming pool, now that I can swim!

Monday 11 September 2000

I went swimming with Adrienne again, and today she took me to the deep end and asked me to jump in. I was a bit nervous, but I knew I could trust Adrienne, so I did it!!  It was fine, I actually enjoyed it!!  I still can’t believe how much I have progressed from I first began lessons with Adrienne. 

Monday 2nd October 2000

Today I went swimming in Friends’ pool, with Adrienne.  It was like being in a completely differnt pool from the one I had school lessons in.  I still don’t really like it but it’s nowhere near as frightening as before!!  


P.E. Reports

Year 8

“Jemma has made a good start in this subject apart from Swimming where she will have to overcome her fear and make a greater effort”

Year 9

“Jemma has made steady progress apart from Swimming where she did not participate”

Year 10

“More effort could be shown in her performance.  Hopefully next year she will have the confidence to start Swimming”

Year 11

“Jemma has been working well in this subject.  She must be congratulated on what she has achieved with regard to her Swimming”

bottom of page