Red Whale's Story

Red Whale held its first lessons in July 2018 and has quickly grown to be the largest swim school in French-speaking Switzerland with 20 teachers, 5 pools and nearly 1000 children attending lessons every week. 

With 3 young children, founder Mike Elliott was highly frustrated with the availability of good swimming teaching and child friendly pools in his adopted Switzerland.


Compared to his native Australia, where learn-to-swim programmes are abundant, there seemed to be a lack of importance placed on children learning to swim from a young age, and lack of lessons in warm pools, and at convenient times. 


After discussing the issue with many parents in Geneva, Vaud, and neighbouring France, it became very evident that there was a huge demand for a better approach to children's swim teaching in the region.


Learning to swim should be a positive experience for children. All parents wanted the same thing: warm water, small classes, a nurturing approach, and credentialed teachers who are in the water to ensure personal attention.


Just as importantly, lessons need to be available on weekends, so working parents can come along.


The next chapter in our story is building our own pool. This will be a swim centre specifically designed for and dedicated to swimming lessons for children. The first of its kind in Switzerland; opening is planned for 2021. 



According to the WHO, drowning is the largest accidental killer of children between 1-5 years old in the world.


Our vision is to teach as many children to swim as possible, as young as possible, so they are safe and confident in the water.