Seven Decades of Teaching


Thomas "Pop" Shapland with grandson Chris, 1948

My grandfather Thomas "Pop" Shapland was teaching swimming in Toowoomba in the late 1930s.

His son Bernard "Bernie" Thomas Shapland and Dorothy "Tuppy" Shapland (my parents) secured the lease of the Toowoomba Municipal Baths (an old fill and drain pool) in 1947. From that date on there has always been a Shapland teaching or coaching swimming as a profession. I began teaching alongside my parents at nine years of age.

Over the last sixty-eight years we have continued to develop the unique Shapland Swim in Five process. This simple yet tried and proven method for both pupils and teachers takes Shapland’s into a league of our own in the industry world wide.

In 1992 I decided to franchise out my family's unique Swim in Five process. By franchising my family business, Shapland Swim Schools then had access to lots of fresh minds and ideas. So not only do we have seven decades of Shapland experience we now have twenty years of input from our very talented and committed franchisees, which when combined, gives Shapland's a tremendous advantage in the industry because we supply stability, commitment, continuity and passion.

Semi private classes of 3.
I am passionate about supplying small classes of three pupils in a boutique environment in a pool facility that has evolved over seven decades. I was fed up with the Cattle Dip mentality of cramming as many classes into the pool as you can, and decided that Shapland's would supply small classes of three with a maximum of two classes in the pool at any one time. This ensures your child will get more individual attention in an environment boasting a calm ambience as opposed to a pool roped off to accommodate what, to the untrained eye, appears almost cattle dip like in it's application. My aim was to build lots of smaller centers which were individually owned and operated and strategically place these smaller more personalized centers to bring high quality affordable swimming lessons to the community.

Seven decades in the industry and still growing is a track record only Shapland's can claim. So take advantage of our swim in five process and contact the closest Shapland to you.

Chris Shapland.


Bernie Shapland teaching in the 1960s; Chris Shapland teaching in 1972.

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