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Red Whale held its first lessons in July 2018 and has quickly grown to be the largest swim school in French-speaking Switzerland with 35 teachers, 2000 children per 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 in the evening, and on weekends, so working parents can come along.


Our custom -built pool in Geneva opened in October 2022, and has been well received by parents and children. We are planning more pools on the Geneva Left bank and in Lausanne in the coming years.


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.

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