Helping babies, kids and adults learn to swim since 1972
The Paul Sadler Swimland story starts with a boy from Ballarat who simply had passion for swimming. In his teenage years Paul was an accomplished junior and high school swimmer. In a situation that was not uncommon in his era he turned his hand to teaching swimming to supplement his family’s income.
Paul’s passion for teaching children influenced his choice of career and he was soon qualified to teach Physical Education and Special Needs in the state primary school system. As an educator Paul embraced skills and knowledge about the psychology of teaching and value of structured programs. He soon applied this to the teaching of swimming and commenced the development of what is arguably one of the world’s most effective learn to swim programs.
Paul Sadler Swimland was formed in 1972, when Paul establish what is probably swimming’s first public and private partnership by renting the pool at his first school, Moorabbin West Special School. The success of this business, in which he was earning more money over the weekend teaching swimming than he was during the week as a teacher, fired an entrepreneurial spark that lead to the construction of his first pool in Brighton in 1976. This is where the clear focus on water safety survival skills (rather than just teaching how to swim) emerged.
Paul Sadler Swimland progressed slowly through the 1970s and 1980s while much was being learnt, developed and established. The mid 1990’s saw growth accelerate when Paul realised the he could ‘duplicate’ himself. The strength of his methodology came to the fore as multiple sites taught lessons that looked the same, whether Paul was there or not.
Today Paul Sadler Swimland operates out of 14 sites with operations in Australia and Canada. It has a leadership team of more 20 managers overseeing more than 650 employees teaching 30,000 swimming lessons per week.
Paul Sadler Swimland has been the recipient of more than 25 industry awards in Australia and USA. Its most significant award was the recent induction of Paul Sadler into the Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association Hall of Fame. Recognition reserved for the luminaries of swimming in Australia.
Brightness of future is a key mantra for everyone at Swimland. Starting with the key relationship between a teacher and a child, fun and positive relationship across the business underpin its culture. The Paul Sadler Swimland vision is
‘Think Swimming, Think Swimland’. Its belief system is that it’s the ‘Small Successes’ that lead to the ‘Proudest Moments’.
Paul Sadler Swimland’s commitment to the learn-to-swim industry goes beyond its corporate objectives. During the last year the Paul Sadler Swimland Foundation was established. This was the next logical step following years of actively supporting many children’s charities with a primary focus on supporting the Royal Children’s Hospital through cumulative donations in excess of $400,000. The current focus of the Foundation is to support Swim Vietnam, an organisation established to fight the ‘silent epidemic’ in Vietnam where more than 30 children drown each day. As a first step, Paul Sadler Swimland has underwritten the construction and operation of an in ground swimming pool and an education centre, established to teach children water safety and teach learn-to-swim teachers.