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Memories of Sue Tester    by Sue Ladd

With sadness, we start this newsletter to say that Sue Tester, a retired Teacher and long-time member of the club, passed away in her sleep, on 4th August 2023. Sue Ladd, a close friend of Sue’s, has kindly written a few words about Sue.  

Sue joined Dolphin Ladies in April 1981 as she wanted to learn front crawl. She was an enthusiastic swimmer and had a go at everything including a Bronze Medallion for lifesaving. The club was responsible for lifeguarding the pool during our sessions in the early days.

Sue trained to be a preliminary teacher in 1982 followed by a Full Teacher and finally the Advanced Teacher qualification in 1991.

Sue’s specialty was teaching beginners, showing endless patience and encouragement to nervous swimmers. She could usually be found on her knees at the poolside explaining a point to a pupil in the shallow end.

One of Sue’s tasks in the early days was to bring a large bag of balls and armbands each week in case they were needed. She did this with a smile. 

Indeed, Sue’s friendly and cheerful disposition as well as her teaching skills helped many in the club achieve their goals.

The club has always had a friendly, inclusive atmosphere encouraging friendship and support that goes beyond a Tuesday morning. Sue was present at many celebratory lunches, teas and events as the photos in the D.L.S.C. 30th Anniversary book confirm.

Dolphin Ladies was very important to Sue as was Sue to Dolphin Ladies.

She will be greatly missed by us all.

The Dolphin Ladies Swimming Club  –  Brief History

The club was founded by Jeanne Izod 46 year ago. It started at the Dolphin Centre, spread to the Triangle, Burgess Heath (1983-2002) and on to Ardingly, (1990-to date). The club has encouraged many of its member to become Teachers, since the start well over 80 members to date have trained and taught hundreds of women over the years to swim and achieve their aims. 

We still have seven ladies, who joined in the first 10 years at the start of the club, who are still members and over the years have played a very significant role within the club, during which time they also qualified as Teachers. 

In 2007 Stephanie Wilson wrote a book to commemorate the Club’s 30yrs. In the book there are many members who talk about the benefits they had gained from joining the club including water confidence and water skills. But also, about the friendships they have made over the years.

Three members’ experience since joining our Club 

Belinda May

Approximately 30 years ago I enrolled in dolphin ladies swimming club as my children had belonged to Haywards Swimming Club from the age of 6 years so they all swam with confidence which I didn’t, so joined to the club to learn the basics but life got in the way and so after all these years I rejoined last September. 

Had a difficult year last year with losing my Dad plus looking after my mum who has been ill a very long time. Kathy my eldest has done a couple of Swim Trek holidays and suggested me going with her this year to Croatia on short trip swimming holiday. Why not!

Well, my swimming was very sadly lacking in speed and definition. Oh hell how do I sort this out? Did Dolphin Ladies still exist? Yes! Brilliant! I have had 6 months of more or less 1 to 1 coaching with fantastic encouragement from Jeanette & co, resulting in a fantastic trip with both my daughters and a friend. There were 15 in the group on a small island in Croatia, graded by ability. Yes, I was in the slowest group but met a lovely lady from the Isle of Man who was my swim buddy. I never expected to swim 2 km plus in the morning and 1 km in the afternoon each day but achieved this and so much more.  Anyone who isn’t brilliant at swimming should join Dolphin Swimming Club. Theres no pressure just encouragement and comradeship

Sally Izod

I have known about Dolphin ladies for a long time but with work and children never had the time to join. A friend last year reminded me of its existence and I was at a stage in life where I could make the time at last! I have never been taught to swim and have never enjoyed swimming a length in a swimming pool, in fact I would have struggled to swim a full length! My friend encouraged me to give it a go, and I am so pleased she did. I started in the very beginners’ class “beyond the boom”! The swimming teachers were so encouraging that I felt very at ease straight away. It was great to start with just trying to swim a width so I didn’t feel overwhelmed at all and I was not out of my depth.

After a few weeks of gaining strength and confidence I was asked if I would like to go on to the next stage. 

I have enjoyed being part of Dolphin ladies so much and now after a year I am so much more confident in the water and improving all the time with the encouragement of the teachers.

Louisa Johnson

I initially joined the Dolphin Ladies Swimming Club to improve my swimming skills in a supportive environment. The club’s inclusive and encouraging atmosphere resonated with me and I found that I wanted to give back in some way, which led me to a teaching role within the club.

Teaching with the Dolphin Ladies is a great opportunity to help others become more confident swimmers.  However, I also find that I come away uplifted by the other ladies.  In particular, my group of retired ladies that are learning to swim are a constant source of inspiration to me and the sense of accomplishment from witnessing their progress makes me feel both proud and gratified.

Our News of Old

Moira Kinnear retires from teaching

Moira Kinnear, who has been teaching at the Dolphin Ladies Swimming Club since 1999, has reached ‘’swimming teacher retirement age’’ and hangs up her goggles! At this year’s AGM the club showed their gratitude for her commitment and...

Our Chairman branches out!

Our Chairman, Pam Edwards, was commissioned as an Authorised Lay Minister (ALM) for Community work, by the Bishop of Chichester, at a special service in Chichester Cathedral, at the beginning of February. Pam is...

Ardingly Ladies face a new challenge!

News from Ardingly – Andrea keeps us updated “Monday ladies were greeted by a shiny new flood barrier surrounding the Ardingly pool this month. After two recent floods from the nearby stream contaminated the pool, the college put in an...

From Class Member To Teacher

Many congratulations to Debbie Sheridan who joined the Dolphin Ladies to improve her swimming and now joins the team of volunteer teachers, here’s her story…. Debbie’s sons are keen swimmers and she found herself...


The club is delighted to welcome Sheri McCurdy to the teaching team. She originally joined the club as a swimming member, but has now passed the Level 1 teaching certificate and is helping our...