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Who we are
Little Makos is a Swim school that has been delivering programmes for children aged 6 months - 12 years old since 2008. We believe that learning to swim is one of the most important life skills that children can learn. We offer classes at all levels of ability from Water Babies classes where parents are in the water with their children, right through to those who are able to swim all 4 of the strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly). We do also offer adult learn to swim classes at the swim school by arrangement.
We offer a safe and conducive environment for children to learn to swim. Our heated indoor pool provides a quiet and sheltered space for learning, and our well trained instructors focus on each individual to ensure lessons are at the right level for each child to progress.
Our Curriculum has proven successful in teaching thousands of children to swim. The key focus for our teaching team is to build confidence in the water and teach your child to swim.
We run a variety of Learn to Swim programmes including:
Classes run from Monday to Sunday in school term time (usually a 10 week term) - You select the time that suits you. Learn to Swim classes cater for all swimming abilities from the non-confident beginner through to the advanced swimmer who needs technique correction before moving to competitive swim squads.
Our beautiful heated pool is at Berhampore School Aquatic Centre is situated in Britomart Street in Berhampore, Wellington.
Our retractable roof allows us to operate as both an outdoor and indoor pool according to the season. The pool is heated between 30-33 degrees celsius in summer and up to 33 degrees in winter.
Our facilities include:
Teaching pool 17m x 7m heated at 30 - 33 degrees celsius
Hot gas showers - for after your child's swim
Changing Facilities - include women's and men's changing areas with toilets and benches, and baby change table in each of the changing rooms for even our youngest swimmers.
Free parking - There is ample unlimited parking on either Britomart or Stanley Streets close to the pool. . You must park outside of school grounds during school times. The small carpark directly next to the pool is for instructors only.
You can also use the adventure playground next to the pool .
How we started
A brief history
Little Makos Swim School is owned by Sarah Chambers, a former National League water polo player who has been a high performance coach with New Zealand Water Polo since 2002. Sarah's whānau has a passion for swimming and a long association with Berhampore School. When the school pool had been closed for many years they seeded the idea to reopen it with a swim school.
Little Makos is a community partnership between Berhampore School and Harbour City Water Polo Club.
In 2007 the Berhampore School pool was one of several around Wellington that had been closed for many years following a change in water quality regulations which made many school pools unviable. Sarah and her family were concerned that a generation of local children were missing out on the opportunity to learn to swim. They had also noticed a drop in the number of water polo players through their club due to fewer children having the skills to take part in the sport.
Sarah looked into the cost of reopening Berhampore School to run a swim school. To bring the pool up to standard they would need to raise $80,000.
In 2007 they secured $25000 from Wellington City Council and $20000 from New Zealand Community Trust. This was enough to upgrade the pool and open for outdoor swimming lessons six months of the year. Following construction works the pool opened in 2008, and four years later the business was able to fund a roof to cover the pool. Since 2012 the school has operated year-round and now over 1000 learners have lessons at the pool each week including school groups. The majority of the teachers have been water polo players and having this employment opportunity has strengthened the Water Polo club.
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