Essential Training

Proficiency in water is the number one fundamental objective of our unique training courses.

The JSSS Story

John Sugden Swim School (JSSS) has been operating since 1995, initially with just John himself. In 1998 John formerly launched the swim school with 1 casual employee assisting him 2 hours per week. He continued to run JSSS whilst also taking on the role of Assistant Coach at Surrey Park Swim Club from 1997-1999. From 2000-2007 John was Head Coach at Kew Swimming Club whilst still managing JSSS. His experience as a coach/teacher/lecturer ranges from Learn to Swim up to Olympic Gold Medalists. From 2007 he has been entirely focused on building the brand of JSSS and the quality teaching and education that surrounds it.

For the past 23 years and currently, JSSS have been hiring such swimming pools as Genazzano FCJ College in Kew, Wesley College in Glen Waverley & Prahran, Methodist Ladies College (MLC) in Kew, Kooyong Tennis Centre in Kooyong & St Pauls College, Villa Maria in Kew. As well as hiring these pools, they have had the opportunity to teach exclusively the Preps, Grade 1’s & Grade 2’s of Preshil, Hawthorn, over the past 4 years. It has been a very stable period of growth for JSSS over these many years as they have established a NICHE market and reputation. In this time they have grown from approximately 20 students per week to a stable number of approximately 250+ students per week. Until recently, this allowed JSSS to employ one Full Time Senior Teacher & Operations Manager, 1 Bookkeeper and between 8-12 Casual Swim Teachers, at any one time. JSSS continue to grow the business with a quality rarely seen in the swimming industry.

Paul Watmough on John Sugden

John Sugden’s competitive experience has ranged from junior ranks to State Level in athletics (particularly throwing and jumping) and Australian Rules Football (AFL) competing in the Under 19’s for the Hawthorn Football Club, whilst also captaining the Peter Crimmins Development Squad in 1980. In cricket he performed at a National Indoor level whilst living in England between 1987-1990. However, for the past 23 years he has been deeply involved in swimming and athletics as a teacher and coach.

His teaching & coaching experiences have ranged widely in the junior sporting ranks, both in England and Australia, but more recently he has been involved primarily in Swimming. Whilst continuing upto approximately 2005 in Athletics coaching in mainly throws and jumps for various Primary and Secondary schools he has taught ‘Learn to Swim’ at many venues before officially starting his own Swim School in 1998.

From 2000-2007, he held the Head Coach position at Kew Swimming Club (Melbourne, Australia) guiding several age-group swimmers to State Finals. Whilst at the Club, John partnered the Committee and Assistant Coaches to see membership at KSC move from mid-forties to eighty plus members.

Prior to this he was involved for almost 3 years as an Assistant Coach at Surrey Park Swim Club. This included overseeing the strength and conditioning program for the National and International ranked swimmers, including Olympic Silver Medallist Backstroker, Matt Welsh.

John has also undertaken a sessional lecturer / teacher role for 3 years in the “Swimming” subject at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. This role along with his passion in Human Movement has developed his interest in raising the quality of teaching standards in “Learn to Swim” both with children and adults.

The JSSS Team

Each of our coaches have, at minimum, the AustSwim Swim Teachers certificate.

We then take them through a comprehensive program to bring their facilitation levels up to the standard we believe is essential for training your children to be totally safe and proficient in water no matter what the environment.












Our instructors use a variety of techniques to help the student reach their full swimming potential.

Gentle & Encouraging

We believe the individual should be relaxed, comfortable and confident in their abilities before moving to the next stage of learning. We always use a gentle and encouraging approach, celebrating each milestone. We do not put someone in the deep end to make them “overcome” their fear.

Fun for Children

For children, we have a variety of techniques and games we play to make learning fun.

Knowledge is Power

We strive to build confidence in all our students by explaining the our proven principals. Building a strong foundation and understanding of the water before beginning a progressive style into the stroke mechanics. You have to be able to understand the water to diminish your fear.

One-On-One for Aquaphobia

JSSS only does one-on-one lessons for any adult who is afraid of the water. This decreases any anxiety of embarrassing oneself in front of another student, not to mention the safety aspect. Most adults who have a fear of the water are not able to balance properly and do not know how to stand up in the pool. With the individual attention, the instructor is always there for the student to lend a helping hand if they do need support. Our instructors are never never further than an arms length away until they have developed skills to stand. Safety is always the first priority.