Newsletters moving to MindBody in 2021
Interview with Pat
Christmas Hours
Gift Cards Available Online
Introductory Ocean Class 2021
Lightning Surf Course January
Holiday on the Sapphire Coast

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Hi Everyone,

As the year is drawing to a close I can’t help reflecting on what a year it has been! One like no other. Some of you may remember we started the year uncertain about our position in the City of Sydney pools. This was followed by the dreadful bushfires, which was superseded by the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a huge year! I’m delighted we have managed to keep going, which is very much thanks to you, our incredibly loyal and supportive clients.

Although 2020 has been challenging there have been many silver linings; our relationship with the City of Sydney Pool management has strengthened; our partnership with the Swim Sisters has grown with increased numbers attending our programs and progressing to squad training; we’ve embarked on a new program with the Swim Brothers; we’ve had more SwimFit swimmers than ever this year and many have now progressed to squad training; our Open Water Training tribe have remained true and jumped back into training as soon as we were allowed in the middle of winter; our classes have been well supported; and squad numbers have swollen to the largest on record in the last few weeks. Most importantly we continue to look to the future with exciting plans and initiatives we hope to roll out in 2021. 

Last Friday a number of our female swimmers participated in the inaugural Masters Swimming NSW Women’s Only Twilight Carnival. It was great night, full of fun and excitement. Many of our swimmers surprised themselves and performed much better than they anticipated. I’m sure this won’t be the last event of its kind, so if you were sitting on the fence, have a chat to some of the participants and I’m sure they’ll persuade you to enter next time. 

Just a reminder, our charity 6 class packs are still available  The team and I have decided to donate 30% of the sale of our charity 6 class packs to Australian Refugee Volunteers in the weeks leading up to the 25th December. If you’d like to purchase an additional pack or buy one for a friend to support this great charity, you can find the details below.

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey, we had over 50 respondents and the feedback has proved to be very helpful. I can report that all in all we seem to be meeting, if not exceeding your expectations, which is reassuring. We do acknowledge however, there is always room for improvement and we are grateful for some of the suggestions made. 

From 2021 we will be changing the platform we use to produce this newsletter. To keep all our activities under one umbrella, we are moving to the marketing tools available to us on MindBody. Not only will these tools help us produce newsletters with greater ease, they will also allow us to send out special offers at short notice which we have wanted to do for a while. The details about how to sign up are further down in the newsletter. I urge you to do so, so we can keep you abreast of all that is happening in your swimming tribe and updated on class changes and opportunities. We can also pass on discounts and special offers for you to access quickly.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support throughout this year. You are our community. I’d also like to thank my great team of instructors and coaches who have worked tirelessly to help you realise your swimming goals. 

I wish you and your families all the very best for the Festive Season. I look forward to seeing you in 2021!  

As always, yours in swimming,

Kari Baynes

A Year of Smashing Goals!

A huge congratulations to all of our swimmers who reached the 25m or 50m clubs this year under such trying circumstances! We know we don’t always manage to get photos of everyone but we celebrate all of your achievements! Great work everyone. You’re all stars! 

Keep Receiving our Newsletters … and Special Offers in 2021!

We’ve come to our final newsletter of the year! In 2021, we will be using MindBody to continue to send out these newsletters. If you would like to keep receiving our newsletters (plus special offers!) follow the steps below to opt in.

If you sign up now, you will have access to our Super January Offer which goes out on Thursday. You won’t want to miss it.. $48 for 4 classes in January (booked at the same time each week). Offer ends December 23rd, so jump onto MindBody now and make sure the box next to Newsletters and Promotions is checked.

How to sign up
1. Log in to your existing account at MindBody online
2. Click on the My Info tab.
3. Click on the Profile from the submenu.
4. Click Edit in the Personal section.

5. The What do you want to hear about us? section is where you can manage your communication preferences. Check the boxes to receive emails and text messages based on the following categories:

✓ Account Management: Update notification regarding your contracts or autopays.

✓ Schedule Updates: Notification regarding services you booked.

✓ Newsletters and Promotions: News and special promotions from us. Check this box to receive our newsletters and special offers including the Super January Offer!

Meet Instructor Pat!

A special treat for our last newsletter of the year! We caught up with Instructor Pat this week to talk about how she first got into swimming and teaching, and why she loves swimming.

How did you first get into swim teaching, and what made you want to teach?
I never had any thoughts about teaching swimming. I learnt to swim as a child and swam competitively until about age 16. I started swimming again many, many years later after a doctor insisted I swim because of back problems. A long time later I decided to join a DSS squad at Drummoyne Pool and met Kari.

About a year later Kari talked to me about teaching. I was really surprised because as I said earlier I had never given teaching a thought. After much deliberation I decided to get my teaching credentials and started my teaching career.

Who was your best swim coach or teacher?
I grew up in Balmain and spent my young life at the (now called) Dawn Fraser Pool.  My coach was a wonderful man called Ray Miranda who was Dawn Fraser’s cousin and he coached her initially, before she went on to be the only person to win swimming gold medals in 3 Olympics.  The residents of Balmain at the time were very poor, so paying fees for lessons was not possible and never discussed. Mr Miranda (nick name Chut) coached squads of kids in the summer and managed boys football teams in the winter.
A true legend.

What else do you enjoy besides swimming?
I have been involved in other activities such as tennis and netball, but swimming has always been my passion. I am sure that most people, including me, always feel great when they get out of the water, no aches or pains, just feeling happy. I am also very happy watching my students swim for the first time and seeing the absolute delight on their faces.

Why should Australians learn how to swim?
There a number of reasons why it’s important that everyone learns to swim. Firstly and the most important reason for swimming is it is great fun, it’s a joy to be in the water. As the majority of Australians spend time near/or in the water, learning to swim is an important safety issue and also another very important reason is the exercise of swimming is such a big health benefit.

How has swimming changed your life?
Swimming not only helps to keep me strong and healthy, I have met and made friends with some fabulous people. Especially at Dawn Fraser Pool which is my all time favourite swimming hole. See attached photo above!

Photo: Dawn Fraser Pool during a king tide.
Photo credit: Pat McDonough

Christmas Hours

Just a reminder that we will be closed from Sunday, 20th of December until Wednesday the 6th of January.

This means our last classes will be on Saturday, 19th of December and our first classes back in 2021 will be on Wednesday, 6th of January.

We recommend that you book in your January classes before we close in December, so that you can secure your spot in the class, and are able to call the office if you have any issues.

Our office will be closed from Monday 21st December and will reopen on Monday 4th January.

Happy holidays everyone!

No Time to Shop for Christmas gifts?

Thinking about Christmas? Give the gift of swimming this festive season. What better gift than a skill for life? You can now purchase and customise our gift cards online! Click below to send a custom gift certificate for someone you love. 

Buy a Gift Card Online

Introduction to Ocean Swimming

Many of our clients start swimming with us with the goal to eventually swim in the ocean. In order to help our swimmers reach this goal, we are establishing an Introduction to Ocean Swimming session for swimmers who can swim 50m freestyle continuously (Stroke Development level) but are unfamiliar with open water conditions.

In this class, our instructors will take swimmers to the beach for a swim training session designed to improve your confidence in the ocean by teaching open water techniques, developing your knowledge of surf conditions and swimming in the freedom and beauty of the ocean (dependent on surf and swell conditions). The session will run once a month, and is designed as a one off session to help interested swimmers transition to Open Water Training, and get a feel for the ocean. Send us an email using the link below if you are interested and eligible, and we will let you know the session dates once they are scheduled.

I’m Interested in the Introductory Ocean Swim Class!

Lighting Surf Course Late January

Follow in the footsteps of fellow Different Strokes swimmers and become a life saver with Garie Surf Life Saving in the iconic Royal National Park! The latest and quickest course starts in January and runs over 3 weekends and is targeted at the more advanced swimmer.

It’s all about being part of a community, having fun, keeping fit, and developing new and existing surf skills – and, of course, making the beach a safer place for the community. For those that want to, you can enter a wide range of surf-based competitions for all ages. 

Several Different Strokes members are now on the beach rescue boat (IRB) and about to start their Beach Captain qualifications – you just never know where your swimming will take you!

Course Requirements 
Your qualifying Swim must be completed prior to the 16th of January either with Kari, or Garie Surf Life Saving will run a swim time at Sutherland pool the morning of the 16th. You must be able to swim 400m in less than 8 minutes to attend. Does not include 1st Aid Course or ARTC. Depending on who applies and their skills there may be updates on those two qualifications. 

Can’t make it? Don’t despair – Garie also run a number of courses throughout the year to train members in attaining a wide range of Surf Life Saving Qualifications. They will also have a 12 week course starting in February. Details to follow.

Find out more and register your interest now at
or email

Find Out More

2020 Class Survey Now Closed!

Congratulations to Claire Li who won our 2020 Class Survey draw! She has won a 30 minute private lesson with an instructor to give her a boost on her swimming journey. Thanks everyone for your feedback!

NSW Swimming Holiday: The Sapphire Coast

As soon as that shimmering blue ocean appears over the horizon on the southern NSW coastline, you’ll know why they call it the Sapphire Coast.

A chain of postcard-pretty beaches broken only by estuaries, lagoons, rocky headlands and coastal campgrounds rustling with wildlife, the region begs for exploration. But it’s not just natural wonders that beckon; seaside towns serve up fresh seafood, delicious gelati, craft beer and coffee to rival your favourite inner-city haunt. There’s even a rollercoaster.

Here are our favourite stops on a road trip through the Sapphire Coast.

Read the Full Article Here

December Charity Partnership! 

Remember that this December, 30% of all our charity 6 Class Packs sold will go to our partner charity, Australian Refugee Volunteers! That’s $52.50 you’re donating per pack (total value $175) without paying more!

We chose to partner with this charity for a number of reasons. For those with refugee status, this year has brought challenges more than ever before, and some welcome relief is needed. We have long been committed to our partnerships with the CALD community through different organisations, and this charity partnership is an extension of that commitment. Additionally, programs run by this charity include water activities for children from refugee backgrounds, which aligns with our belief that everyone should be given the opportunity to learn swimming.

“Australian Refugee Volunteers (ARV) is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit, non-religious and non-political organisation based in Sydney, Australia. The main objective of ARV is to improve the lives of children from asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds.

In order to improve their situations, and aid in integrating families into Sydney society, ARV receives referrals of children from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds from various caseworkers around Sydney. The organisation has established a number of programs that include art workshops, sport days, social outings and school holiday camps for these children, and aim to assist our clients through the development of self-confidence, reading and writing capabilities, and social and leadership skills – all with the ultimate goal of aiding in developing their personal and cultural identities. In so doing, we also contribute to easing loneliness and isolation, as well as improving the physical and mental health of our clients”.

Buy Now

Join our Facebook Community!

Want to connect with fellow members of Different Strokes Swimming classes and get regular updates? Join our private Facebook group! Just search ‘Different Strokes Swimming Members’ on Facebook and request to join the group – an admin will approve you as soon as possible. You can also like our public Facebook page here for updates, swimming articles and more!

Happy SwimmingKari





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PO Box 830
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