Returning, as I am, to Jersey in the next few days for both a RJ solo and a RJ Relay, I’ve been putting finishing touches to the mental aspect of my challenges. I first met Sally in September 2014 on St. Aubin’s beach in Jersey after a 5km open water race, not long after my father told me he never wanted to see or speak to me again and, more hurtfully, that he wanted nothing to do with our two boys (now young men). I knew of the Jersey legend of EC swimming, saw her on the beach, walked up to Sal and asked her, ‘can you get me round Jersey?’ She said, ‘sure’ so I decided to turn a powerful negative emotion into a positive one by deciding, there and then, that I would swim around my father (who still lives on Jersey).
I attended the first of four successive swim camps the next May (2015) and so began a series of life-affirming experiences centred on swimming in the stunning waters that surround Jersey. Sal’s motto, ‘a bay a day’ rings true as the programme endeavours (within the limitations of the massive tides) to give swimmers a varied experience from glorious sandy beaches around the south and west, through picturesque harbours along the north coast that provide access to cliffs and hidden coves and caves and the deep water of St Catherine’s in the east where most qualifier swims of up to 6 hours are done (for those wishing so to do).
The camps are about much more than just swimming and, over the years, I have had the privilege to swim with inspirational people, whether it be Help for Heroes amputees training for an ‘Arch to Arc’, EC swimmers or those new to open water swimming. The camps never feel too large, the atmosphere is always conducive to sharing stories and experiences, and I know that I have gained a lot of knowledge in the process. I think, too, that everybody departs having gained in some way, whether it be open water technique, confidence in the water or just happy memories.
Lastly, Sal’s camps always include a healthy dose of socialising centered on charming, sometimes quirky, cafes (such as the Hungry Man and Mad Mary’s) visited after swims, evening dining at memorable locations (such as El Tico’s, watching the sun go down over St. Ouen’s bay) and special trips (e.g. to France for dinner or to the Minquiers by rib when, more often than not, you will see dolphins right up close).
Sally and fellow campers, I’d like to thank you all for those shared experiences as they will stand me in good stead when I swim around my father.
Sally runs a fantastic swim camp. The structure is clear and the focus is strong but there’s also a fun element. Sally uses the different bays around Jersey so there’s always a different view and each bay offers different challenges. Whether you’re training for the Channel, a triathlon or just enjoy open water swimming, Sal’s swim camp should be on your list, you’ll learn so much and have a fab time!
I first met Sally at Swimrite 22 years ago, when I was expecting my first daughter and attended aqua natal classes. After the birth I then continued with post natal classes and as soon as my daughter was old enough we attended fun classes. I then went onto have another daughter. Both girls were taught by Sally and enjoyed various classes including a fun club type class on a Friday when they were around 11. I felt confident, that Sally had got them to a good level of swimming, that they would be safe swimming in the sea. Both girls then went on to join the long distance swimming club. I myself attended great aqua aerobic classes run by Sally and eventually at the age of 40, Sally taught me to swim front crawl, with my face in the water, something I never thought would happen. I now swim nearly every day, mainly crawl, thanks to her. Without her support and reassurance, myself and my family wouldn’t be the strong swimmers we are today.
Sally taught both of my children from 4 months old.
She has a brilliant manner in the way that she engages with babies, toddlers and young children, as well as the parents.
Sally’s confidence in the water is superb, and both of our children responded very well to her and continue to thoroughly enjoy swimming. George was even encouraged to take part in a Halloween day sea swim aged 3 which is still one of his proudest memories!
Over 24 years ago I was introduced to Aquanatal and Post Aquanatal through Sally Minty-Gravett. This then lead me to doing Aquafit which I still enjoy today – being my favourite sport to keep fit.
I first met Sally when I had to improve my swimming strokes for my GCSE in PE, this then soon went to coaching support for a round Jersey swim and I regularly swam with Sally in the sea and in the pool. Sally spent time with me correcting and tweaking my stroke so that I could be more efficient, I got to know drills and a pullbuoy very well!
Sally is a font of knowledge with all things swimming and felt very safe in her hands with any swimming goal I was aiming for.
My son, was taught by Sal, from age 6-7, approximately! He has various neurological conditions including autism and developmental coordination disorder and he is hearing impaired. Sal had a wonderful attitude towards Keir and always geared her teaching techniques to accommodate his needs. She would work both in the water and poolside with him depending on the lesson and always ensured that he understood what she wanted him to do by speaking directly to him. Thanks Sal for being a truly understanding and adaptable swim coach.
Angela and Keir
Sally taught me to swim at swim right when I was very young. For me learning to swim properly from a young age has enabled me to have the most priviliaged youth growing up on the beaches and in the Sea of Jersey. She installed in me such confidence in the Sea both underwater and swimming that I would look at other children, who were scared and unable to swim at think how on earth this was possible and how much less fun they could have playing in the waves and even just in a swimming pool. I thank my lucky stars she taught me to swim and love the water as I now make my living on it and under it !
Thank you so much Sally
I never remember not being able to swim and always loved the water; however after major back surgery all my confidence vanished. Sal literally breathed new life into my world!
She got me into the pool for the first lessons I had in my life at the ripe age of 43!
She gently persuaded me that I wasn’t going to break or drown!
Sal has literally changed my life and given me the inner strength to reconnect with my body, with water and feeling that I can do it!
She is a massive supportive inspiration in all areas of my life!
Thanks Sal, you really are my mermaid queen!
My three boys over the past 24 years have been very lucky to have had Sally Minty-Gravett teaching them to swim from the age of four months through parent & babes, toddler and children’s swimming lessons and even Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club – as a result they are happy, strong confident swimmers.