Meet The DS Swim TEAM


Blending years of experience with a proven methodical swimming approach, our team have helped hundreds of swimmers achieve a broad variety of goals in the sport, including medalling at national and international level.

Dave Sankey

Dave Sankey, Founder, Managing Director & Head Coach

Dave started DS Swim in 2006 after working with US Olympic coach David Salo on his swim camp in Los Angeles, and realising that swim clinics in the UK were not doing enough to offer swimmers individualised help with their technique, and were failing to use video analysis effectively.

Dave has been involved with swimming as a swimmer and coach for over 20 years, and during that time has worked with swimmers at every level, from absolute beginners up to international athletes.

Dave was a Senior National Finalist on several occasions, who finished his swimming career ranked top 100 in the world rankings on 50m Breaststroke, and held a number of county records. He has trained alongside swimmers including double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington, and was coached and mentored by GB Head Coach Bill Furniss. Dave still competes, and has recently won 3 medals in the British Masters Championships in the Breaststroke events.

An ASA Senior Coach (Level 4), Dave has worked as Head Coach of several clubs, coaching swimmers to National medals of all colours in multiple programmes. Swimmers who have worked with Dave on a one to one basis have gone on to win National Championships, gain international selection and even qualify to represent GB at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

As well as running technique clinics and one to one coaching sessions through the DS Swim Performance Coaching programme, Dave also runs a thriving swim school in North Derbyshire, the DS Swim Learn to Swim Academy, and in late 2021 was the driving force behind the formation of the Dolphins of Spinkhill Swim Club, where he is Head Coach & Club Secretary.

Dave is also a qualified secondary school teacher, having previously worked as a Head of Mathematics. He is father to 3 young children and lives with his family just outside Chesterfield in North Derbyshire, England.


 I have always been a lover of the sport of Swimming ever since having my first lesson as a child, and my passion for it has been there ever since. Once I had completed my certificates and badges, at the age of 10, I was asked to join the school swimming team where I entered in competitions and galas for my school, which gave me even more passion for the sport, and from this I knew Swim Teaching was something I wanted to do and have always kept up swimming ever since.

I have a passion for teaching and coaching. I hold a degree in ‘Sport and Exercise Science with Coaching’ from Sheffield Hallam University, and spent 9 years heavily involved in Karate as both a student and a Sensei (teacher), which gave me great teaching experience working with students from beginners to international medallists.

Since graduating from University, as well as teaching swimming, I have also worked as a Lifeguard & Fitness Class Instructor, I am also studying for my Swimming Coach qualifications to develop my knowledge of competitive swimming.

Teaching swimming gives me amazing job satisfaction. To see children grow in confidence in the water and have fun whilst learning a key life skill that keeps them safe makes this the best job anybody could wish for and I would recommend anybody interested in becoming a swim teacher to speak to us and give it a go, as we are always looking for people who share our love of swimming to join the DS Swim family!



Paula has been teaching swimming for more than 15 years. She has a reputation locally as an outstanding teacher, and has been teaching with us since the academy launched in 2015. Paula is a firm but fair teacher who passionately shares our belief that teaching skills correctly at a young age gives swimmers the tools to be great swimmers for life! Paula has such a strong reputation locally, that when she first joined the team dozens of people joined the academy from other centres in Clowne, Eckington, and further afield, keen to have her teaching their children!

Both of Paula’s children swam at a high level, and we are delighted that her granddaughter Ruby is now making great progress in our lessons too!



Lewis knows what makes the DS Swim Learn to Swim Academy great better than almost anyone, having learned to swim with us and, after completing all of his awards, going on to train with the Dolphins. Before starting his teaching career, Lewis spent a significant amount of time observing and being mentored by a number of experienced teachers, and this has resulted in him bringing a level of expertise to his lessons which is far beyond his relatively young years. One of Lewis’s greatest strengths is his amazing rapport with our younger and less confident swimmers, and he is a hugely valuable member of the DS Swim team!






Having had a fear of being in water from a young age I started swimming lessons at the age of 4. Throughout my swimming lessons I soon overcame this fear and progressed through the stages until the age of 10 when I achieved my Gold award.  I then thought it was a time for a new challenge and I joined Sutton Swimming Club. I have swum for the club for the past 8 years competing for them in many galas and competitions, a highlight was swimming in the National Arena League. During my time of swimming for Sutton Swimming Club I was invited to join Nova Centurion, Nottinghamshire’s County Squad at the age of 13 and competed to Regional Level.  At the age of 16 I wanted to give something back to the system that helped me on my swim journey, so decided to become a swim teaching assistant for two different Swim Schools, Splash Dance Academy (which is now DS Swim) and Neptune Academy.  I gained my STA level 1 qualification and learned how to transfer my knowledge over to the public and learn all the different teaching styles by working alongside highly qualified swimming teachers. I progressed to achieve my STA Level 2 qualification and obtain my swim teacher’s rescue award to become a fully qualified swimming teacher. Alongside this I have volunteered as a coach at my local club, so I have been able to gain experience with children of differing abilities.  I have also completed a beginner’s sign language course and all necessary safeguarding courses.  Now as a Student at Sheffield Hallam University studying physiotherapy, I work for DS Swim at the weekends and still enjoy giving back to the sport I fell in love with.


Ian got involved in swimming through his daughter more than 10 years ago. Over the years, he has had many roles in swimming, including Head Coach at Nottingham Northern Swimming Club, where he is currently working (and achieving great success)! Ian has an infectious enthusiasm to partner with his excellent technical knowledge, which cannot fail to make children and adults alike feel at ease in the water. Ian is also the Chairman of the Dolphins of Spinkhill Swim Club, and provides invaluable support to the club’s swimmers behind the scenes.



Biography Coming Soon.




Biography Coming Soon.



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Call: 07380304418