Personally I think swimming lessons for children are so important. It’s an activity that can keep them fit, see them interacting with other and could even save their lives. I therefore find it so hard to understand why receptionists at the local baths do not feel that their roles are as important.
My daughter attends swimming lessons at Coventry’s main baths and the instructors are great. At the end of every 10 weeks if the kids have done well they will receive their awards (certificate & badge) and possibly move up to the next class. I find it frustrating that even though the reception staff know the 10 weeks are due to come to an end and parents will be there at their counters, with money ready, eagerly waiting to pay for their child’s certificate and badge – their reward for doing so well… are not in stock!! This happens every time and I find it infuriating.
Now my daughter did so well, that she also moved up a class to level 3 – which I was told was the same time – 11.00 a.m. on Saturday morning. So I go to book her in – the only spaces available are at 8.30 a.m. – not what I was told!!
As it is important to continue with the lessons, we sign up for 8.30 a.m. As my daughter usually has to get up at 6.30 a.m. it is nice for her to have a little extra time in bed at the weekend. But never mind, I got her up for 10 weeks for her early class. After this I decided that this is really too early for her. I enquire about classes at later times… I am told they are full and we might have to wait a long time for a space to become available.
So we try another sports centre which is local to us in Bedworth. Looks great as you walk in, plenty of children coming out with wet hair, a full coffee shop and children playing in the play area outside.
We approach reception – the receptionist just about manages to look at me, no smile, no good afternoon, no interaction with my daughter, who is very pleased to be there to ask about lessons, she just stares at me blankly!
“Hello, Are there lessons available for level 3?” I asked – without ask how old my child was, without look at the computer system – she just said “NO”. No explanation, just a “NO”.
I asked if there was a waiting list, “NO”. I then asked about finding out about spaces becoming available, “Just have to keep ringing to see” she tells me.
Ok – thanks for that, what’s the telephone number – she tears off some till roll and writes it down. Still no further information.
Being so helpful and forthcoming with information … did I dare to ask her anything else… oh yes! I wanted to know about public swimming and the timings, etc. – shoving a leaflet at me with minimal interaction I once again felt like a valued customer.
I left – feeling quite fed up by the whole experience and thinking I would not go there for swimming lessons or for leisure. To make things worse, I then find out from my friend, that she had been told that there was a waiting list, they took her details over a year ago, and have never called her back.
For me the whole experience of booking, attending and achieving at swimming lessons should be something that is priority for all involved. Making the process as difficult as it can be and not inspiring the children with awards is beyond me!
I find this lack of initiative by the reception team rather disappointing as their actions could change the outcome of a child’s whole introduction to sport. How many children may go uninspired or their talents undiscovered due to a lack of effort from the sports facility?