Having logged 170 hours of Learn to Swim training in the States at Greenwood Camp, Tristan Jansen van Vuren brings not only an undeniable passion for teaching and crystal clear love of the water to the AMAA family but world-class experience, too.
Having learnt to swim at the tender age of three, Tristan has always felt ‘at home’ in the water, which is why he pursued not only Swimming South Africa LTS and First Aid Level 1 qualifications but an American Red Cross Lifeguard certification, too. “The water was never a scary place for me but I realise that it can be a source of anxiety for many people, young and old, which is why I am passionate about my role in assisting my students to not only overcome any fears they may have but to learn to genuinely love swimming.”
A self-confessed adrenalin junkie, he loves nothing more than being active, being outdoors and being able to share his knowledge, skills and experience with swimmers of all ages and skill levels. “Seeing the growth in the swimmers I work with is the most rewarding aspect of my job,” he explains. “Watching a student become independent in the pool, progressing from nervous to confident, from unsure to self-assured… that’s why I do what I do.”
Over and above the physical aspects of swimming ¬– the strokes, the techniques, the details – Tristan aims to teach his students two things. The first? The importance of forming friendships with fellow swimmers… “Swimming competitively can be lonely unless aspiring swimmers, especially those who see it as a possible career, stop seeing other swimmers purely as competition.” And the second? The importance of confidence… “Today’s children suffer a great deal from lack of confidence and I would like to use swimming not only to build their confidence in the water but in everyday life.”
Where does general health and fitness feature in his list of priorities? Right at the top. He deems staying fit and healthy as incredibly important not only for the body but for the mind too. “Living unhealthily today could really infringe, negatively, on your future, which is why I teach by example – staying in shape so that my students feel inspired to do the same.”