New Season Updates

Hi Everyone,

We’re very excited to be returning to Prince Alfred Park Pool mid August. As lovely as it has been running our classes indoors at Cook and Phillip Park Pool, particularly in the wet and cold, it will be great to be able to bring back our mid week evening classes and return to our regular swimming home. The first class back at Prince Alfred Park is on Monday 15th, August.

You will find details below about the upcoming season’s timetable as well as some staffing changes. Sadly, we have said goodbye to Lisa and will be saying farewell to Jelena at the end of August. Lisa is focusing on her studies and Jelena is going off travelling. I’m sorry to lose them both and I wish them all the best.

What does this mean for you? It means you will have me back teaching and coaching full time. After a break away from the pool I’m feeling invigorated and ready to help you on your swimming journey. Diana is also still teaching and coaching on Tuesday evenings at Victoria Park Pool as well as taking our entry level ocean swimming program. These changes in staffing levels means there are not as many classes available, so you in order not to miss out you will need to get in early to book your spot. All classes are now set up in MindBody.

As with many other businesses at the moment, our costs have increased and as a result we will have to adjust our prices accordingly. Our new pricing will come into effect from Monday 15th August. If you wish to purchase auto-pays or class packs at the existing rates jump on to MindBody now, or call the office to purchase.

I really look forward to seeing you all in a class or SwimFit session soon! 

As always, yours in swimming, 

Kari Baynes

Photo: So close! Our swimmers make progress and reach their goals.  PC: Diana Galosi

Teaching Team Updates

As we head into a new swimming season and towards the reopening of Prince Alfred Park Pool, we’ve got a few team updates to pass on to you. 

Sadly, we’ll be saying goodbye to a couple of our instructors as they head off on new and exciting endeavours. 

Lisa has moved on to spend more time focusing on her sports studies over the next few months. We wish her the very best of luck! 

At the end of August, we’ll be farewelling Jelena who’s embarking on a long awaited travelling season. We can’t wait to see all the photos when she gets back!

In exciting news, our very own Director, Kari, will be re-joining the teaching team to take a majority of classes when we head back to Prince Alfred Park Pool. Diana will be taking her usual classes and SwimFit session on Tuesdays, as well as the fortnightly Open Water Training sessions. 

Keep reading for more details on the upcoming class timetable for the Spring/Summer season. 

Photo: Kari, Lisa, and Jelena working their magic at various pools across Sydney. PC: Kari Baynes. 

UPDATE – Class Timetable & Fees

We’re gearing up to head back outside with Prince Alfred Park Pool reopening in August, and as we begin a new swimming season we have a few announcements and updates for you all. Read on for details about our upcoming class timetable and fee structure updates.

As you all know, our time at Cook + Phillip Park Pool will be coming to a close after Saturday 13th August, from which point on we’ll be back at Prince Alfred Park Pool. Our timetable will be following a fairly similar schedule through the rest of winter and into spring and summer, with a few extra week night sessions added. Here’s how they’ll be broken down:

Where: Prince Alfred Park Pool (starts 15th August)
When: classes will run between 5:15 – 6:45pm.
Monday nights will be dedicated to Stroke Development and Stroke Foundations classes, with 50m lanes available to develop your swimming in both the deep and shallow ends. 

Where: Victoria Park Pool
When: classes will continue to run as normal, from 5:00pm – 6:45pm (including SwimFit from 5:45pm).

Where: Prince Alfred Park Pool (starts 17th August)
When: classes will run between, from 5:15pm – 6:45pm
Wednesday nights will be a mix of classes Stroke Development and Treading Water & Water Safety classes, with 50m lanes available to develop your swimming in both distance and access to deep water for those after water safety skills. 

Where: Prince Alfred Park Pool (starts 18th August)
When: classes will run between 5:15 – 6:45pm.
Thursday nights will be dedicated to Beginner 1 level swimmers, with a 25m lane in the shallow end to continue building your confidence in the water. 

Where: Prince Alfred Park Pool (starts 20th August)
When: classes will run between 11:00am – 3:15pm (including SwimFit from 11:00am – 12:00pm).
Saturdays will run a mix of sessions for all levels. 

Please note we will continue to run our private lessons around our class timetable.

There will be a slight fee increase from August 15th, as a result of continually rising business costs. We will release our new prices in the coming week.

If you would like to purchase a class pack or sign up for an autopay program at the existing prices, don’t wait! Get in touch with us now and we’d be happy to help get you set up at the current rates.

Buy Now!

 Advice from the Pool Deck

This week, we asked instructor Lisa to farewell us with us some insights into the process of learning to swim. She gave us some great advice to keep in mind as you keep learning and practicing your skills.

The first thing Lisa pointed out to us is to remember that the most important stage in your swimming journey is your water familiarisation stage. Getting comfortable with being in the water and gaining a fundamental confidence in yourself is crucial to every other step in your journey.

In our programs this encompasses the Beginner, Beginner 1 and Stroke Foundations levels, while you learn and grow foundational skills for swimming. Treading water is a hugely important part of this stage as well, as being confident to stay safe and relaxed in deeper water opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

The next thing that Lisa passed on was the thing that she’s struggled with most in her own journey with swimming: her kick. Growing up, her kick wasn’t corrected early enough so she acquired some bad kicking habits that have been hard to fix ever since. Lisa recommends taking your time to practice the basics and keep checking in with your instructor to make sure you’re not developing bad habits.

Even seasoned, competitive swimmers (and instructors!) are constantly working on their skills to make sure they’re getting the most out of swimming- and they’ve all had to start somewhere!

Photo: Lisa teaching at Prince Alfred Park Pool earlier this year. PC: Kari Baynes

We might be past the halfway mark of winter this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still feeling the cold. Are you someone who gets affected by the cold, or does the temperature impact your decision to swim or not? You’re not alone!

Fortunately, some awesome brands out there have our back with thermal swimwear. Sounds too good to be true, right? Thermal swimwear is an excellent alternative to a wetsuit for swimmers who either don’t want to spend the money on one, or don’t want the restriction that they can cause. 

The details of thermal swimwear vary between brands and style, but you can generally expect long sleeve Lycra items lined with a hydro-fleece for extra warmth and comfort. Most available thermal swimwear can be worn in or out of the water (including salt, fresh or chlorine) and makes for great training attire, with plenty of styles around.

Here are a few of our favourite examples of thermal swimwear available- but let us know, have you ever tried something like this? Would you like us to do a review on any of these products?

Kozii is an Australian-owned swimwear brand that makes thermal swimwear aimed at training in and out of the water during Winter. They have a few cute prints or plain black options for men and women, and they’re pretty affordable!

For something more neutral and performance-focused, check out the FINIS Australia thermal swim shirt. Sleek, unisex and made with a unique BiPoly fabric to help trap in warmth and not restrict movement. It’s a bit more expensive, but worth checking out.

Wetsuit Warehouse also has a bunch of options, ranging from thermal swimwear to individual neoprene (wetsuit) pieces. Each have their pros and cons, but if you’re looking for something even more heavy duty than a thermal top but not as restrictive as a full wetsuit, you could check out neoprene tops or springsuits.

Let us know if you’ve ever tried any extra-warm swimmers, or if you have any secret tips or tricks for staying warm in winter!

Inspiration Corner


Swim the Channel (Wholesome Documentary) | Real Stories

If you’ve got a little time over the weekend, why not check out this excellent documentary about swimming the English Channel. It focuses on the stories of the trainers, volunteer coaches, swimmers and guides. It’s a gritty, honest and realistic approach to one of the most famous swims in the world. Highlighting not only the work involved, the physical pain at times, and the mental fortitude required – the power of your attitude. If you’re interested in the stories behind the swim, this one is definitely worth the watch.
Please note – language warning.

Happy Swimming






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Different Strokes Swimming
PO Box 830
Newtown NSW 2042