Meet the Team
Claire and Mandy have been swimming together regularly for many years. Between them, they have over 34 years experience of teaching swimming and are both qualified, open water coaches. They launched Sandy Toed Sea Swimmers in September 2021 with the aim to encourage others to take up the sport they love.
I’ve always lived here on the south coast in Felpham just a stone’s throw from the sea. I started swimming competitively at the age of seven for the Bognor Regis Swimming Club, where my mum was chief coach. For the last 16 years, I’ve been a swimming teacher at a local pool, teaching all ages and abilities. My sister and daughter are also swimming teachers.
In 2019 I was asked by Swim Safe, a campaign run by Swim England and the RNLI, to teach young people how to stay safe in and around open water.
When Covid struck I started swimming regularly in the sea and my passion for open water took off. With Claire, we swam in rain, wind or shine and all through the winter in temperatures in the sea as low as 4°C.
In 2021 I qualified as an open water swimming coach.
Earlier this year I gained the SLSGB Tube Rescuer Award with Surf Life Saving Great Britain and successfully completed the Swim Coach Rescuer & Risk Assessment course via Coast to Coast water safety in April 2022.
My love of swimming started when I lived in Cape Town for 19 months when I was just four years old. We had a swimming pool in the back garden and would go in most days. I’ve loved swimming ever since.
I have 18 years of experience teaching swimming and recently qualified as an open water coach.
I moved down to Bognor Regis nearly 30 years ago and have been sea swimming for about six years now. During lockdown, I went in most days. Having signed up to do the Polar Bear Challenge, I carried on throughout the winter. However, to qualify for the challenge, unlike my friends including Mandy who always swims in a wetsuit, I could only wear my swimsuit, hat and goggles. Brrr!