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Dec 2018 Newsletter






  • WE ARE ONLY SHUT XMAS WEEK (Monday Dec 24th- Friday 28th Inclusive).Lessons will resume Monday 31st of December and continue as usual on New Years Day.






Rapidly Increase Your Child’s Development

The large majority only swim only once per week.  What we have found over the years is doing twice per week actually improves development three times faster than those attending only once.  This is due the fact that children attending only once spend a large portion of each lesson revising previously learnt skills.

Our advice is to bump up holiday attendance or attend the 2nd lesson on the weekends if life is to busy.  Plus remember swimming can also serve as a great weekend activity release some energy as well.

Saturday Lessons Now Available!

Due to demand we are now operating Saturday Lessons with Damien. For further details please contact us 0431 216932



 (Learn to Swim and Stoke Correction)

When:  December School Holidays 17th – 21st  (Lesson times to be confirmed on booking)

Where:  Damien Gulliver Swim School (Surfers Paradise Primary School). 

Address:  42  St Andrews Ave,  Isle of Capri,  Gold Coast,  QLD 4217

Cost:  Total Cost  $85 (5 x classes)

Loyalty Discount:  ($5 Lessons): - This offer is strictly for current financial clients  and is subject to availability.

What to Bring:  Goggles togs and swim cap.  

How to Enrol:  Call us 0431 216 932.  Payments can be made over the phone or online via credit or direct transfer

BSB:  06 4480 

Account:  1047 8628                    


  1. Existing Gulliver Swim School pupils can attend but cannot use “intensive” lessons as replacement lessons.

  2. Pupils attending intensive must purchase the full set of 5 lessons ($85).

  3. There are no replacement lessons or refund for lessons missed.

  4. Only received payment can secure a booking into a class.

Summer Update

The warmer weather is back and so are the summer recruits.  We are seeing an increase of  “younger” pupils in learn to swim and stroke correction.  I attribute this growth to parents sharing their positive experiences associated to their child’s positive outcomes.  


In squad we are witnessing a higher than usual percentage of children attending to assist fitness for “other” sports (cross-trainers).  It’s great to be able to help pupils with diverse motivations. This spring many of the existing pupils decided to follow me down the beach to be involved in either surf safety or surf racing programs.  I am proud of the fact that we are really engaging with our local community.  The swim school has participants attending from five different surf clubs, ten different schools and now the program is capturing the interest of ball-code club members too. 


Learn to Swim has seen some amazing improvements over the last eight weeks. There is a contingent of newbies that just started in level two in September that are already doing “conventional” freestyle.  Their improvement is just off the chart and I’m very impressed.  I often wonder what they could achieve if they did more than one lesson per week, which seems to be the average attendance. Also showing some tremendous improvement is a group level 6 pupils that continued right through the winter. These kids are killing themselves to be the best in the class each lesson.  Leading the charge is Audrey Allen followed closely by a much-improved Charlie Starling. 


Recently I have taken on a group of four year olds mostly siblings of older children in the program.  These children represent the youngest and future of the program.  It’s is an absolute pleasure to work with these unpredictable little buddles of joy and I look forward to these classes immensely all week.  I find teaching the lower levels very rewarding at this phase in my life and get a real thrill watching the children make such big improvements each lesson and giving one hundred percent.


Over the winter months, in the stroke correction program we concentrated heavily on freestyle development. Although the program teaches all four strokes, the freestyle component, allowed participation in summer water sports such as nippers. Many of our youngest swimmers are already completing swims out through waves, around a turning buoy and back to shore safely.  Just think this time last year most parents would never have dreamed their child could perform such an achievement.   It really is just a matter of getting on board with your child and creating the opportunity.


Squad kids are forming great relationships as a result of training together all year.  At the moment we have children as young as seven through to adults attending squad. I like to think that we offer more than just a squad program.  I believe at the pool we create an environment that encourages healthy relationships that positively impact children.  In believe the environment we create assists with a child’s healthy development, both emotionally and physically, and I am proud of that.  I congratulate the commitment of most families, with the average swimmer attending twice a week.  I understand families lead busy lives these days and I am proud that most are extremely consistent and attend weekly all year. I have successfully encouraged numerous families to use swimming and fitness as a regular lifestyle choice not just a seasonal past-time. 



Currently many pupils are preparing for school swim and surf lifesaving carnivals.  Each session has components of racing in addition to the normal technique and fitness elements to accommodate this.

If you want your child to feature at the carnivals then we need to see them at swimming.  Many parents come into the centre and ask me to perform miracles just days before school carnivals.  Whilst I do teach race dives and tumble turns as part of our program I am unable to change lesson plans at the last minute. Please be aware that in order to race well, pupils need to be “consistent” with attendance, so we can work on their race techniques and skills in advance and at the child’s pace.  


December Race Night

The kids are now showing some interest in pool racing.  We are looking at forming a recognised swim club at the pool, with a view of commencing races monthly.  Races will include one and two lap sprints with times recorded for ages 6yrs -Masters.  Race night is free and will be open to the community not just the swim school members, so bring a friend.  The aim is to provide motivation for training and encourage the community to get involved.  Race night can also act as a stepping-stone towards interclub competition at a later point.

We had pencilled in this Friday (7/12/18)  however due to it conflicting with a school function held same evening we have not been given permission by the school.

We hope to try again in Jan and will provide an exact date once we can lock it in with the school. It is our intention to run a race night monthly there after.



Surf Sports


Coolangatta Gold Ironman

Many of our pupils competed in the Coolangatta Gold Junior Iron Man Event.  For most it was their first ever ironman race.  The race involved children running, swimming and board paddling over 1km in and out through the waves and along the beach.  The conditions were amazing, blue skys and big waves.  Despite the testing waves and in one case injury all starters completed the course and several even placed amongst the top 6 competitors in their respective age group.

Most would agree that our winter run training came in handy during the run legs and naturally the kids talents shone in the water as well.  Jake Mail was the most outstanding performer amongst those that competed with a strong result in the U10s Boys race.



Young Guns Teams Surf Carnival

This carnival is all team events and the kids represent their clubs.   These races are shorter in length and designed to be sprint based compared to the long Coolangatta Gold Ironman format.  It was held at Broadbeach in a solid 4ft waves so was a little scary for some.  Most of the kids competed well and represented their clubs proudly.  The outstanding competitors were Jake Mail and Lucca Pither both who competed up in age.  Lucca competed in both female and male races.  This duo dominated races all morning showing amazing speed, skills and ability for a children their age.

Big improvements were seen from Will Weeks and Nina Harvey and this is a result of stronger commitment over the winter in the pool and at the surf sessions


Gold Coast City Titles Surf Carnival

This was a long weekend and some children competed in over 20 individual and team races.  The shortest race was 3.5 minutes long with some ironman race going for as long as 12 minutes.  Just making it to the end of the carnival intact was a major achievement for most children.  We had a large contingent of children in attendance.  Most had never competed at a major surf carnival like this before and were very excited to be involved.  The most outstanding competitor was again Lucca Pither who managed a silver in the girls U/11 board race.  Lucca was just pipped on the line for second but led the race most of the way demonstrating real grit and skill.  We saw also some great improvement from Sophie Clayworth, Nina Harvey, Jess Wallice,  Rhiannon Parker and Kate Roder.  All girls improved on previous performances and walked away heads held high and motivated for more positives experiences.



Free Surf Safety Holiday Intensive Cancelled

Due to insurance challenges I have decided to cancel my independent surf safety courses indefinitely.  I understand many parents have been waiting on this all year and I do apologise.  However if you are a member of either Surfers or Mermaid Surf Lifesaving clubs you can experience surf safety programs directed by me for free, as long as you are a member of the club.  Contact me for further details.


Hayden is Back!

Hayden is back!  Hayden Slee is known to the kids as the school swimming coach that assisted David Gee last summer.  Hayden also assisted us at the swim school during the busy months last season.  Both the children and parents love him to bits and the swim school is currently making arrangements to get him started again at the pool.   In the meantime Hayden has started back coaching on the beach as the Mermaid Beach Surf lifesaving Club’s Surf Safety Coach.  Hayden’s role with in the program is the build the confidence of entrance level children.  Lessons are on 7-8am Sunday morning. Lessons are free for members.  For more information contact us for details.


House Keeping

Children behaviours

Some pupils waiting for swim classes have been misbehaving and the headmaster has asked for me sort it out.  The kids are getting bored and parents need to be aware they need things to do while waiting.  They can’t be climbing the structures and fences etc.  If you see your child doing this please stop them.

Please also advise your child not to exit the facility (past the gate) until you arrive to pick them up. 



The school has advised on numerous occasions that dogs are not permitted on school grounds.  Every time a dog is seen at the pool the headmaster has advised that I am in breach of the lease and WH&S policies.  Please be aware that having a dog in the centre is putting our business at risk.  Also note at beach session’s lifeguards have requested that I advise parents not to bring dogs down to the beach inside the dog-free zones.  Thank you for assistance in this area.



If you see kids hanging out alone in the toilets or if a mess has been left please advise me asap.  

Please encourage your children to behave in toilets and to pick up after themselves.

Pupils/parents are not permitted in the pumproom or storeroom.  It’s a liability/ WH&S policy, please wait at the door or yell out if looking for me.   



Swim Gear

Goggles- everyone in swim lessons needs goggles. Don’t just buy any goggles, as many brands don’t fit children’s faces.   Goggle problems during class result in child fiddling with the goggles instead of swimming and me fixing the goggles instead of coaching. Have a chat to me before buying and I will advise what is suitable and where to get it.  In the near future I’ll put something on the website to assist.


Caps- every child is supposed to have a swim cap on in the class (school rules). In summer the lycra/fabric based caps are better as they are not hot and fit well.  Most caps are fine, but I recommend the lycra caps for lessons above the silicone material.


Flippers- if your child is in squad then they need their own fins. If your child does surf with me then they will also use these for learning to body surf.  Amart Sports is the where most the parents buy them. They cost between $30-$40 depending on the deals at the time. Note, feet shrink in the water, buy them to fit now, don’t buy them big or they fall off the foot when swimming and pushing off the wall. Usually you only get 6 months before having to buy the next size up. I have some spares at the pool for new clients but please be aware that there is not enough to go round. 


Togs- Kids can wear whatever they feel comfortable in provided its not holding then back. Don’t send kids in wet shirts or rash vests as they slow the child down and make it hard.  Also if boys are going to wear shorts then stay away from shorts with pockets.


Communication with the coach

Lastly, we are getting to the busy time of the year.  If I could please ask parents to discuss issues with me over the phone, during day or in person before 3pm or after 6:10pm (out of class time).

Whilst I appreciate that parents wish to ask questions or clarify issues at lessons, please note that lengthy discussions just before or during classes can affect my ability to start lessons on time or deliver lessons effectively.  My advice is, if you wish have to chat to me about your child’s development etc please call me during the day. M-0431216932

Lesson changes- Please do not expect me to remember all details of conversations had at lesson changeover as often I forget.  Please text or email me any information related to lesson changes.



Friendly Reminder


  • This swim school operates similar to a child-care centre.  Your fees pay for your spot in the class on the allocated day.

  • If you don’t attend there are no make-ups, refunds or credits for lessons missed.

  • If you go on holidays we do not “hold” your spot unless payment continues.

  • If you temporarily resign (turn off debit) to go on holidays we are obligated to offer that spot to the next pupil on the waiting list.  Note there is a waiting list for pupils wanting particular days/times.

  • There is no “casual” rate or casual attendance at the swim school.

  • Please advise your spouse or child’s other carer of the conditions, thank you.

Mermaid Beach Surf Program

Most of you know I coach the Junior Surf Sports Team (competition squad) for Mermaid Surf Club.  This is the only club on the coast that has a twelve- month program of its type.  It is encouraged as a “lifestyle” program for families who want their kids to grow up amongst the beach culture.  A number of kids from the swim school have enrolled and are experiencing the benefits.


The Mermaid Surf Club program also provides pathways in sports excellence and we have some of QLD’s best juniors as members.  Mermaid was the biggest improver in the region last season, earning a number of medals at the youth surf lifesaving state titles.  Further we had Alyssa Bailey win the regions top honour as the 11-14-age competitor of the year and both Alyssa and twin Claudia were recently selected as two of four girls to represent QLD at the interstate (National) Titles.

Surfers club logo.png

Surfers Paradise SLSC Surf Safety Program

The primary reason parents send their children to nippers is to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to be surf safe.  Unfortunately, most nipper programs are delivered by unqualified volunteers/parents and surf coaches that lack child-centred practice.  These volunteers do their best with the limited knowledge they have but often fall short of meeting expectations in terms of surf safety. It is a common theme for families to express that their children were placed in terrifying circumstances at Nippers, and as a result refuse to attend. This is a real shame.  For that reason I have embarked on a crusade to change the way Nippers is delivered and to ensure a more structured, child focused and holistic program.


Over the winter I joined up with Trevor Hendy/Surfers Paradise Surf Club with a view of delivering Australia’s leading Surf Safety Program.  We are currently well on the way to achieving that. This is part of a larger vision to create Australia’s leading club operational template, which will roll out across all clubs, resulting in improved holistic outcomes for members and the community. 


At Surfers Paradise Sunday Nippers my program operates similar to the level-based swim school structure.  Participants are divided into groups based on their ability, instead of age and work through a specially designed curriculum to fast-track improvement “at the child’s pace”.  At the completion each member will possess the necessary knowledge and skills to safely and confidently engage in recreational and competitive surf sports.


Format- Group lessons

·       Age- 5-14yrs

·       Free for all financial club members 

·       Sunday 8:30am-10:30am.

·       Surfers Paradise Surf Lifesaving Club (beach)


Parking is Free for members (under the surf club via the Paradise centre car park entrance)

For more details- Contact Surfers Paradise Surf Lifesaving Club -Nippers


Swim lessons at DG Swim are designed to work in conjunction and support nippers surf programs at all clubs.

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