Eight Decades of Teaching

At Shapland Swim School, swimming is a family affair. The history of the school first started with Thomas aka “Pop” Shapland, Chris Shapland’s grandfather. He shared his passion for swimming with his son Bernard “Bernie” Shapland. Who in 1947 first dipped his toe in the swim industry alongside his wife Dorothy “Tuppy” Shapland by running the local municipal baths in Toowoomba, QLD. The dynamic duo soon built a strong reputation in the field, coaching elite swimmers and state finalists.

Dedicated swim teachers, in 1973 Bernie and Tuppie built the first purpose built swimming pool in QLD. This boutique swim school was designed to not only provide a pool that provided the optimum swim teaching experience for children, but also provide parents with a relaxing and comfortable environment. It was the first of its kind. Through years of watching and learning children, and their experience in the water, they also developed the swim class model that the Shapland 5 program is based off of today.

Bernie and Tuppy shared this knowledge with their son Chris Shapland, who after starting to teach swimming at the age of 9, knew that he wanted to dedicate his life to supporting others in learning to swim and educating his community on how to be safe around water. This vision saw Chris expand the swim community that his grandfather and parents built, by creating the first Shapland Swim School franchise in Kallangur 1992. Since then, his son Lucas Shapland has also contributed to the Shapland swim family, ensuring swim safety and fun is accessible to all.

With 8 decades of swim experience and 31 years of input from our talented and committed staff and franchisees, Chris has evolved the Shapland swim program into the industry leading swim school that it is today. From baby programs through to school age and advanced stroke correction classes, Chris and the team have developed a Shapland’s simple, yet tried and tested 5 step method of teaching swimming. Not only has he created a legacy, but a program that sets new world-wide standards. Check out our or swim programs to explore which class might be right for you and your family.

Whilst we have a gold class program, we understand that it’s not just the program, but how we teach it that matters. This is where our passionate, skilled, and committed swim team take centre stage. Each of our teachers are industry qualified and certified. The cherry on the top is that they each value developing rapport with their students and prioritise building a relationship with each and every one of them. It’s through this that we are able to deliver a personalised service based on genuine connection and care. And, because we are committed to constantly evolving our program to deliver our students the best possible experience, each and every one of our teachers undergo extensive ongoing training.


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