Our story

Find out how Making Waves began and what we do.

We opened our Playsport pool in 2017 but our journey began in 1986.

Tom became a lifeguard in 1986, gaining his bronze medallion from the RLSS in Pontefract, Yorkshire, eventually gaining employment at a local swimming pool in 1988.

It was from poolside that he watched colleagues teaching swimming that he finally got the bug. He joined an assistant teaching course in 1989 and began the career that would be his life.

He enrolled in a sports course at Bell College of Technology with the aim of getting a job as a sports development officer. This became a Degree in Sports Coaching with development, which he gained in 2005.

Meanwhile, Making Waves was taking shape. During his studies, he had been teaching with two local authorities, and had been moved around to busy up the programme at other centres. Another teacher had spotted his enthusiastic approach to teaching and offered him the chance to start his own school. There were just 4 children in attendance at the first class.

Within a year, Tom was teaching 270 children per week at the centre with Nicola running the growing bookings and enquiries from home.

A new company acquired the centre, and met with us to let us know that non-members would not be allowed to attend classes there and we found two school pools in opposite sides of the city to hire.

We employed our first member of staff, a lifeguard and began classes in high schools within the central belt. Over the next few years, we hired other school pools, expanding our field, as well as other pools in the Glasgow Area. We changed the name to Making Waves, as our lessons in the East seemed to need a new name!

School pools were not the cleanest, were often closed, were subject to being closed down due to budgetary constraints, temperature often fluctuated. In short, were not the standard that we wanted to provide to our customers.

It has always been of paramount importance to us that parents should be able to watch the classes entirely. This is very unusual in children’s activities, the vast majority of providers do not account for this and we have always felt that it is imperative that parents are able to view the lessons.

It was our vision to build our own facility, and have put all the learning about other facilities into what you see today.

Our children have been a huge part of our business, as they grew up around the school pools, becoming teachers and lifeguards, and now coordinating alongside us. It is very much a family business, with a number of our staff being ex students.