Meet The DS Swim SPinkhill 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.

An ASA Level 4 Coach, 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 and was formerly Head of Maths at Mount St Mary’s College, where DS Swim is primarily based. He is father to 3 young children and lives with his family just outside Chesterfield in North Derbyshire, England.



Biography Coming Soon.


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!


Ian got involved in swimming through his daughter more than 10 years ago. Over the years, he has had many roles in swimming, from Swimming Club Chairman to 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. Usually in charge of our Academy One to One lessons on Saturday afternoons, he can occasionally be found covering our group lessons too!


Carla joined DS Swim in September 2020, and brings with her a huge wealth of experience in the sport of swimming. She has almost 20 years experience of teaching and coaching, having started teaching with Dronfield Dolphins in 2001. Since then, Carla has worked with swimmers at all levels from absolute beginners to national level athletes. Carla holds the ASA Level 2 Teaching, and Level 3 Coaching Qualifications, as well as a degree in Sports Therapy with Strength and Conditioning. She also has extensive experience working with children with a vareity of disabilities, and even being selected by Swim England to coach technique camps for young, high level Para-Swimmers.

Carla has spent much of her teaching and coaching career as Head Age Group Coach at Chesterfield Swimming Club, where she taught and coached 100s of young swimmers during one of the most successful periods in the club’s history. She left this role in 2018 to take on the position of North Derbyshire Performance Coach at Derventio Excel, the Derbyshire County Swimming Squad, a role which she held for 3 years before moving on to pursue new opportunities, including running Sports Massage Centre in Sheffield.



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.






Biography Coming Soon.




Biography Coming Soon.





[email protected]

Call: 07380304418