Over thirty years serving the Mansfield community

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Swimming teacher at Water Meadows Leisure Complex Diane Massey is celebrating over 30 years serving the swimmers of Mansfield.

Diane started as a teacher in 1987, and began working at Water Meadows the year it opened in 1991. In her career, she’s taught 1,000s of local people to swim, including decorated Paralympian Ollie Hynd, MBE and the lady who’s now her boss at the centre, Hayley Kirk.

Hayley is the aquatic lead for More Leisure Community Trust, which manages Water Meadows and three other facilities in the town, including the brand-new Warsop Health Hub, which opened in June this year.

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“To think that I’m now the manager of the wonderful lady who taught me to swim so many years ago!

Diane Massey and Ollie Hynd, MBEDiane Massey and Ollie Hynd, MBE
Diane Massey and Ollie Hynd, MBE

“Diane is an inspirational teacher, whose kindness, compassion and teaching expertise have touched the lives of literally thousands of local people. It’s an honour for me to work alongside someone like Diane, who has given this town so much. She taught former top swimmer, Ollie Hynd, and now they teach alongside each other every Thursday evening at Water Meadows. We’re so lucky to have them both on our team!”

Diane has dedicated her working life to teaching local people a vital life skill, and she’s loved every minute of it!

“I’m so lucky to have done this job for over 30 years. It’s a role that gives you so much job satisfaction, as you help people of all ages to learn to swim and become confident around water.

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“Over the years, I’ve taught kids who at first were terrified of simply getting in the pool, but with patience and support, these learners find a way. There may be a few tears along that journey, but seeing these children develop confidence and start enjoying the water is a wonderful thing, and something I’ve been so lucky to be part of in my career. Having a parent come up to you to tell you the family had a lovely holiday because their child was now water confident – that’s a feeling that stays in your heart forever.”

Diane Massey and Hayley KirkDiane Massey and Hayley Kirk
Diane Massey and Hayley Kirk

Diane is moving towards retirement, having recently cut back the number of hours she teaches at the centre. It’ll be a sad day for Water Meadows when Diane Massey is no longer poolside. For now though, she’s still there every Thursday and Friday kindly and patiently helping people develop a skill that will last them a lifetime.

Cllr Andy Burgin, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Leisure said:

“I would like to congratulate Diane on her 30-year work anniversary with Water Meadows. After all these years, her teaching influence will have been felt by many residents in our community. Also, it’s encouraging to hear Diane’s teaching reached our local sporting hero, Ollie Hynd, MBE.

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Swimming is an important lifesaving skill, and residents should learn how to swim safely with instructors who are committed. I would encourage anyone interested in enrolling in swimming lessons or qualifications, whether for a child or adult, to speak with More Leisure Community Trust’s team for more details.”

A final word from Brian Taylor, Chair of MLCT:

“I’d just like to pass on my appreciation for the amazing contribution Diane has made to this community in her long career. From everyone at MLCT, thank you, Diane!”

In partnership with Serco Leisure, More Leisure Community Trust manages Oak Tree Leisure Centre, Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre, Warsop Health Hub and Water Meadows Fitness and Swimming Complex on behalf of Mansfield District Council.

For more information about the trust, please visit its website: www.mansfieldleisure.com/

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