All Nautilus instructors hold internationally recognised swimming instructor qualifications, but we think that you might like to know a bit more about them than that. So here, in their own words, is who they are and why they love swimming and instructing.
As one of our instructors likes to quote "Swimming is not just about learning technique, it's about building a relationship with the water".
Ozan Mert Kurtcu
Hillary Ann Nevyjel
Icaro Del Mar
I grew up in Poland and started swimming at the age of six . I soon became a member of a local swim club and competed successfully at National level. When my professional swimming career ended, I became an instructor in order to pass on my experience and knowledge to the generations ahead. I have taught in a number of swim schools and clubs in London, my focus being on correct technique; this enables my students to progress smoothly and effortlessly in all four strokes. I also have a degree in Politics and postgraduate studies in PR which provide me with the skills to manage a large team professionally and efficiently.
My name is Margarita and I come from Bulgaria when I started swimming at the age of 6.
I have been a competitive swimmer and part of the Bulgarian national swimming team for many years. I participated in many national and international championships, including open-water swimming world cup competitions achieving a 4th place ranking
My higher education was in sports journalism and swim coaching. As swimming and communicating with people are my two favorite activities, my job as a swimming coach enjoyably combines both these very well! As well as Bulgarian instructor qualifications, I also have the GB teaching and coaching certificates as well and, overall, I have more than 15 years experience in teaching/coaching. I love my job and believe that giving my students individual attention, even in a group, is one of the key ways for them to reach their goals.
I am a graduate of Sports Science and Physical Education at Brno University, Czech Republic (2006). At the age of ten, I started swimming with my local club and, by fifteen, I was training eleven times per week and competing successfully at the Czech National Junior Championships. My success in the pool allows me to work effectively in the water with the students by providing technically clear demonstrations which help them visualize what it is they are trying to achieve.
I arrived in London in 2006 and have worked as a swimming coach and instructor with numerous companies. Since 2017 I am managing the Wimbledon venue for Nautilus. My aim is to use my technical knowledge to help my students achieve their highest potential in their swimming.
I continue to work closely as a swimming coach with the staff and students at Pembridge Hall, Wetherby and Thomas's Kensington/Clapham.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sports & Science and a Master’s degree in Secondary teaching of Physical Education from Valencia University (Spain). I started swimming at the age of 4 and I competed at national level until I was 16. Later I was involved in other sports including open water swimming, tennis, triathlon, and ironman competitions.
After my Master’s degree, I moved to Australia for one year. There, I learned from the best swim coaches in the world. I arrived in London in 2015 and, since then, have worked in the swimming industry as a strength and conditioning coach and as a swimming teacher and coach. My goal is to provide students with the best swimming lessons and the finest skills to become great and confident swimmers.
I have been teaching children and adults of all levels for more than eighteen years, both in Italy, where I come from and, for the last ten years, here in London. I pride myself on an ability to work with everyone from the most inexperienced, timid swimmer to aspiring tri-athletes looking to improve their performance.
My lessons for younger students are made to be fun while pushing them to explore and improve their abilities. With a sound understanding of the underlying mechanics and physics of swimming, I am able to provide more structured, technical lessons to advanced swimmers.
I have been a swimming teacher for four years. Before becoming a teacher, I managed swimming pools and sports centres in central London, as well as training and assessing lifeguards in the London Boroughs of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea. Since starting to teach swimming, I have worked for inner city schools and community sports centres, as well doing private client instruction.
I love working with kids, helping them to improve and motivating them to be the best they can be.
I am a qualified PE teacher with an additional five years of experience of working as a swimming teacher. I am an enthusiastic educator who enjoys working with children and is committed to developing their physical skills.
Having spent the last few years teaching swimming to children at all levels, I have formulated a very good relationship with them and have found that I can instill in them a real enthusiasm for sports, health and fitness. I believe that my dedication and involvement in sports activities and healthy lifestyles will encourage and contribute to children’s swimming education.
Swimming is my greatest passion in life! I started swimming at the age of 7. I have been a competitive master swimmer in Venezuela and Spain where I was part of the national selection in both countries. Currently, I am part of the London Master Selection for Hackney Aquatic Club and Otter Master Swimming Club where I have also participated in national and international Master Swimming Championships.
Ozan Mert Kurtcu
As a sports professional and athlete, I have always had a strong passion for swimming and sport in general. From the age of eight I was introduced to the water and since then I have represented Turkey in two international open water competitions. (İstanbul European Open Water Championship and a European Youth Open Water Championship in Tenero-Bern, Switzerland).
I graduated from Marmara University sport science faculty in Turkey and have a pedagogical physical education teaching certificate (2019). My the biggest goal in life is to provide sports education and help future athletes achieve their goals in swimming.
Francesco has competed in swimming since he was nine and has been teaching for the past five years. His lesson approach consists of detailed physical demonstrations from in and out of the water, a playful attitude and engaging communication skills. Francesco believes that every skill is achievable with practice and dedication; a mindset he applies diligently during his lessons. Other interests include, weightlifting, grappling , cycling and yoga.
I am a qualified ASA Level 2 Swimming Coach & ASA Level 2 Swimming Teacher.
Swimming is a huge passion of mine as I am an ex-county standard swimmer and still swim most days myself for personal fitness in pools and open water.
As a teacher, I take great pride in creating engaging and progressive lessons for all my students and aim to develop swimming skills that focus on technique and fitness, as well as being engaging and playful. I incorporate skills that will help swimmers progress competently and efficiently.
Swimming is my first love. Growing up in Australia means that swimming and outdoor sports is an essential part of my life. I learnt how to swim from age 6 and then spent my teenage years at my local swimming club, squad training and swimming competitively in my district in Sydney.
I gained an AUSTSWIM Teaching qualification when I was studying at university and then taught for several years. Swimming is such a vital skill and to impart this knowledge is a real joy!
I love teaching and being in the water, whether that's with learn-to-swim children, improvers or adults wanting to gain confidence in the pool.
I've been based in London since 2011 and aside from being a fully qualified swim teacher, am an avid open water swimmer. I recently completed a 5km swim past landing aeroplanes at London City Airport, which was quite the experience!
Born in Southeast Bulgaria - Burgas, city by the sea, I have had a passion for water sports from a very early age. When I was little child I spent most of my free time on the beach surrounded by water where I felt calm, comfortable and confident. I took note of these feelings and directed them into the field of competitive age group swimming. At age of twelve I started studying and training in the Sports School of Burgas in the following disciplines: 100m, 200m and 400m Individual Medley. .After finishing my career as competitive swimmer, I discovered the enjoyment of other aquatic disciplines such as Water Polo. I have been teaching swimming for 6 years in South West London and my greatest skill is patience; I believe that with small steps we can make big changes! I really enjoy working with kids and passing my swimming experience onto them, keeping them motivated to stretch their athletic potential.
I have been swimming from the age of four and began competing for Swiss Cottage Swim Club, achieving age group medal status.
I have a strong link to water, using my swimming skills to become a lifeguard and then moving on to teaching swimming. I have an MA in Fine Art and over seventeen years’ experience in underwater photography with some of the top ballet dancers in the UK and Europe.
Hillary Ann Nevyjel
I learnt to swim in the alpine lakes and rivers of southern Germany and in the warm waters of Florida. From the age of 9, I also began club swimming. Being in the water for me is pure joy, freedom and fun, whether it's indoors or outdoors, across a lake or doing my laps. I believe swimming is such an important life skill as it's a brilliant way to keep fit and healthy, physically as well as mentally.
My career as a swimming teacher started in 2016. I mainly teach children in private, group and school swimming lessons, aiming to provide lessons that build confidence, improve technique and develop a positive, lifelong relationship with water that will allow my students to enjoy swimming wherever they go.
An enthusiastic Level 2 Qualified Swimming Teacher with a competitive aquatics background, I grew up in Italy and always played sports, following in the footsteps of my father. When I was six, I became part of a Swimming Club where we took part in competitions as a team, and where I had the privilege of participating yearly in the most important regional competitions, qualifying both for the FINA and Italian Regional Championships. Swimming taught me how to control my anxiety, and helped me to pursue my goals through High School and University. Moreover, it taught me how to reach success as part of a team, to accept defeat and to come back stronger! My lessons are designed to be fun and captivating and I aim to build students’ self confidence in the water in the hope that they will transfer these skills to their everyday lives. I believe one of the key lessons for kids is that in swimming as in life, you need to work hard to achieve your goals, but there is reward after sacrifice.
Sport is my greatest passion in life! As a child I always wanted to spend as much time on my various sporting activities as I could, and my interest in swimming grew over the years. So much so, that I decided to pursue it as a profession, and graduated as a P.E. teacher from the Academy of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Poland. As a student there, I specialised in sports management and swimming coaching courses at every level, from toddlers through to adult swimmers, including those with special needs.
I get huge enjoyment from working with kids and seeing their smiling faces when they are succeeding and having fun at the same time is great. I want to share my enjoyment of sport and inculcate healthy attitudes and enthusiasm for life-long active recreation.
I have been swimming since the age of six and was National Champion in Bulgaria for seven consecutive years in freestyle and butterfly. Swimming is a vital life-skill as well as a fun thing to do. I enjoy teaching both children and adults with my aim being to get them to share my enthusiasm for this amazing sport. I like to think I am particularly good at motivating swimmers by tapping into their full potential in a fun and enjoyable way.
I have been involved in swimming all of my life and have a very wide background and knowledge of aquatic sports including swimming, synchronised swimming and waterpolo. I was a competitive swimmer from a young age and subsequently a gold medalist and record breaker in 100m and 200m backstroke between 1986 - 1991. in Former Yugoslavia from 13 - 19 old age groups.
I was nominated for the London Award 2013 in the category Coach of the Year 2013 across the UK. I have also had a chance to work with one of our county's Olympians, David Wilkie.
I am qualified as swimming and synchronised swimming teacher and a coach and I am a FINA synchronised swimming judge for National and International competitions with over 30 years of experience and well over 7,000 students World Wide.
My greatest satisfaction always comes from seeing my clients enjoy their progress. Whether working with nervous beginners who need to conquer their fear of water, or with more advanced swimmers who want to reach triathlon or other swimming goals. I am certain that I can help you improve results through supportive and experienced instruction.
I have had a passion for sports and physical activities from a very early age. This passion led me to take a degree in Physical Education in Brazil.
I spent a year in Australia in 2014, where I furthered my training whilst working as a swimming teacher. It was a huge learning curve for me, and has intensified my passion for this career.
Icaro Del Mar
Amongst my many passions in life, two are very important; teaching and sport. Growing up in a country like Brazil that has a large coastline gave me a love of water and swimming.
As a teenager, I was able to train and compete in small to medium size competitions which helped me gain the knowledge and confidence to be able to teach children the sport and give them the critical life-saving skills that swimming requires. After more than a decade of teaching, I can safely say that I am very happy and enthusiastic about this career.
I learned to swim when I was three and was part of a swimming club by the time I was 7 years old. So swimming and teaching have been a passion since I was very young indeed.
I competed in the Middlesex county championships and became county champion under 16s 50 metres frontcrawl at the age of 15. I have taught a huge range of people with a variety of abilities and aptitudes, including people with water phobia, mental and physical disabilities and, of course, highly competitive swimmers. I can teach both competitive and non-competitive techniques in frontcrawl, backstroke,breaststroke and butterfly. My lessons are designed to be fun and I aim to build students' self confidence and particularly to share my enthusiasm for swimming. Through swimming, I want students to gain the sort of self belief that will enable them to realise that, in life, they can do whatever they put their minds to.
- Will the lesson be interesting, challenging, and enjoyable?
- Does it suit the ages and abilities of the learners?
- Is there variety, continuity, and balance?
I started swimming when I was five years old at Wimbledon Merton Swimming Club. I believe that I have achieved a very high standard of teaching during my time as a fully qualified STA level 2 Swimming teacher. I have built up an extensive teacher profile, teaching up to 120 people a week aged from three years to adults. My hobbies are swimming, Badminton and Wu Shu Kwan Chinese Kickboxing where I received a 3rd dan black belt.
From an early age, I was at ease in the water. I began swimming around the tender age of 3 or 4 years old. My parents nicknamed me "their little fish" because I loved to be under the water, trying to swim between their legs. After competing in galas during my school years, I got a job as a lifeguard, and went on to do a swim instructing course. I have never looked back since. During the last seven years I have taught both adults and children alike. I have helped people overcome their fear of water and made them more confident swimmers. I have a solid understanding of stroke technique and can easily identify what aspect of a stroke needs improving. To achieve this, I incorporate a lot of drills into my lessons - always explaining the reasoning behind them - and I demonstrate what I am trying to teach. We are visual creatures and knowing is one, thing but seeing it is done is better.
I look forward to helping you to improve your technique, build confidence, get fitter and, if you want, preparing you for competitions
I am a passionate swimming instructor who loves teaching swimming. My love for swimming started when I was very young. I grew up in a town in Colombia where the average temperature is 26 degrees throughout the year. There is no winter and outdoor swimming pools are available everywhere. I had my first swimming lesson at the age of 4 and since then, it has been my favourite sport. I’ve been teaching swimming for over eight years now and I love the competitive side of the sport. I have experience working with all age groups (swimming schools and triathlon clubs) from toddlers to competitive swimmers – teenagers and adults. I also have experience working with special needs students, and I hold a certificate in the Halliwick approach, where the main focus is the biophysical principles of motor control in the water.
I was born in Sparta where the warm weather of Greece, coupled with the close distance of my house from the sea, became the main reason I spent a lot of time around water sports, including open sea swimming and, on land, martial arts. In 2017 I moved to London and qualified as a swimming teacher where my passion for education and my enthusiasm for teaching children became the main factor that drove me to make this life-changing decision. My goal is to transfer my dedication and cognitive skills to the next generation.
Pawel got his athletic start on land growing up in Poland where he spent his youth playing his favorite sport basketball, but he always had a love for the water.and began swimming at the age of 4; at 7 years old, he joined his local swimming team. As he remembers, swimming has always been a part of his daily regimen, enhancing both his training and peace of mind. He competed as a swimmer for many years and he also swam with the competitive swim team at the University. Pawel has a Masters degree in Education and many years of coaching experience. Whether a student is 3 years old or over 60, he strives to show how much fun the water can be. When not working you might still find him swimming in the pool or on the court excelling at basketball.
My passion for sport started at the age of eleven when I joined a local water-polo team in Bucharest. After a year of hard work and determination I won my first water-polo National Championship. I won the National Championship of Romania four years in a row and received awards such as Most Various Player and the Top Scorer of the season. My determination, will and perseverance gave me the opportunity to represent Romania in international championships in countries such as Russia, Turkey and Germany. Whilst competing professionally, I finished high-school and decided to broaden my knowledge of sports by applying to study at university in London. During my first year in London, I joined the water-polo team Ealing Crabs. This gave me the chance to compete in the National League and London League. Whilst at university, I joined the university swimming team and participated in events such as BUCS.
My passion for water sports shaped me into the man I am today. The knowledge that I have acquired has helped me and my students to strive, improve and correct any imperfections related to swimming. Through my own experiences, I have gained a great insight into how to work with different students and how to deliver my information in a clear and concise manner whilst at the same time keeping my lessons both focused and fun!
Originally from Sardinia, an island off Italy, I started swimming from a very young age and my passion for swimming led me to a career as a swimming teacher. Later, as I grew up, I fell in love with the sport and I started training regularly and I have never stopped. After more than fifteen years of training, I am excited to be sharing my knowledge with Nautilus students and I hope my enthusiasm comes through in my lessons. My aim is to create strong, happy swimmers and to achieve this, I am both thorough and patient, ensuring each swimmer has the finest technique, whether they are a beginner or a competitive swimmer.