Most parents understand the importance of enrolling their children in swim lessons, especially in the Charleston area where water is everywhere. Yet, finding a comfortable and accessible space with quality swim instructors can be tough.
Located at 3407 Salterbeck Street in Park West, Brighton Swim Academy is the first facility in north Mount Pleasant specifically dedicated to teaching all ages to swim. The facility and pool are specially designed to facilitate learning to swim - making Brighton different from facilities where students learn in a pool primarily used for swim team practices and competitions.
Brighton Swim Academy is equipped with a UV filtration system that kills bacteria with UV light, cutting chlorine use in half. The pool water and air temperature are kept at 90 degrees - significantly warmer than a multi-use pool. Students learning to swim need to be able to practice putting their head underwater and mastering the strokes, which they can’t do if they are busy shivering in a chilly pool.
Owners Lance and Carlie Ogren are lifelong swimmers and long-time instructors. When they moved to Mount Pleasant five years ago with their 1-year-old son, they were surprised to discover the lack of swim schools. They discovered other parents were also struggling to find quality instructors and, when they did, available slots were filled almost immediately.
“We have spent the past two years researching, learning, and listening to industry leaders, local parents, and friends with the goal of designing a swim school to meet the needs of the many people we hope to teach,” Carlie Ogren said.
Throughout high school and college, Carlie taught swim lessons and worked as a lifeguard in California. When her first full-time job in New York City didn't cover the rent, she found a part-time Masters swim coaching job, where she met her husband. She also is a U.S. Masters Certified Level 2 Coach.
Lance Ogren is a Swim Smooth certified coach. He has studied extensively with Swim Smooth co-founders Paul Newsome and Adam Young in Loughborough, England, and in Perth, Australia.
Lance is a U.S. Masters Certified Level 4 Coach -- only one of 22 in the United States. He also is the head coach of the Palmetto Masters Swim Team in Mount Pleasant. Lance has competed in a number of open-water swims, including crossing the English Channel and swimming around Manhattan Island twice.
With their own extensive swim coaching background, the Ogren’s believe in employing highly trained swim instructors at Brighton Swim Academy. The teachers have more than 40 hours of swim and safety training and receive continuous training throughout the year.
The Ogren’s have developed their own curriculum that takes students from beginner to mastering all four strokes. Classes are small - just three or four students for every teacher.
“We realize all children learn differently and our patient, encouraging teachers approach each student with that in mind,” Carlie Ogren said. “Each class incorporates songs and games to create a positive, fun experience. Plus, each lesson incorporates a safety message. Our goal is to teach swimming, but also prevent drownings.”
Classes are available starting at 6 months old and are broken down by age and skill level. Teen and adult learn to swim classes are also available. Morning, evening and weekend options are available. Learn more and enroll online at www.brightonswimacademy.com.