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Our private lesson clients, who been working with Gary Vandermeulen, have had incredible success including: full scholarships at US Universities, qualifying for the Commonwealth Games, winning UK Schools Games and won Scottish Age group championship events. Many swimmers have seen improvements that are remarkable: one swimmer improved 8 seconds over a 50m event. Our private lesson clients are offered anonymity if they prefer; names are not published over social media. Triathletes, Competitive Senior world class swimmers, Age Group swimmers of any ability, terrified adults and even stroke victims work with Gary to improve their swimming abilities.

Register for more information


For more information on swimming lessons please send in a registration form and we will be able to contact you via email. Please give as much detail, including where you live, to allow us to give you the most detailed information.

Swim Camps


Our swim camps run in the summer months since 2007. The success of the camps are shown in the large number of swimmers who return each year. Swim camps run from Monday morning until Friday evening with full board and room. Our swim camps are hosted at the beautiful campus of Glenalmond College near Perth.

Racing events


Our racing events are for pre-competitive swimmers and are part of our Phoenix Aquatics swim club. These events are for fun and are held in a non-intimidating environment. We take time to allow swimmers to learn how to race before they are encouraged to join a swim club and then race in registered competitions. These events take an hour or up to two hours in total.

Club visitations


We provide club visits from Gary Vandermeulen. These visits are designed to stimulate your swimming groups to understand balancing in the water and 'holding water' to improve distance per stroke. This gives your coaches a new platform from which they can build their drills programme. Clubs across Scotland have had a visit from the former Olympic athlete and Olympic Coach including the national swim squad. Gary has recently been part of the Fife Performance squad training monthly at venues across Fife.

Competitive training opportunities


The Sheppard Swim School lesson programme is based on learning in a safe and productive atmosphere. Both endurance and skills are taught to move children into the skills that will allow them to swim safely and easily. Skills are progressed to swim Frontcrawl, Backcrawl, Breaststroke and Butterfly. All swimmers graduating from our lesson programme would easily be selected into a swim club programme.

Private lessons


For information email: gary@shepppardswimschool.co.uk visit: www.sheppardswimschool.co.uk for information on lessons, clinics & swim camps visit www.swimphoenix.co.uk for information on our swim club and visit Gary's coaching blog: www.swimcoachingblog.com for swim knowledge.

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Dear Parents,

I hope that you are getting all of your weekly schedules into place.  We have the new pool in Auchterarder starting up after a long break.  This new pool is in beautiful pristine condition and is great to teach in because it is kept at a warm 31C.  If you are interested in starting lessons there we are teaching on Fridays and Sundays.  You can contact us on the our booking page or by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we can get back to you as soon as possible.  We also have a Facebook page.  Search Sheppard Swim School and you will find us! 



Swim Clinics are now available for this school term.  Go to our Performance Coaching page for dates and topics.


Sheppard Swim School will be providing the learn to swim programme for Phoenix Aquatics at Wallace High School  This programme started on 22 October 2013 The programme will run on Tuesday evenings from 6pm (18:00) until 8pm (20:00)  If you are interested in this programme either as a swim club swimmer to train under Gary Vandermeulen or for swimming lessons please contact us by email   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SHEPPARD SWIM SCHOOL has a full spectrum of swimming lessons and swim coaching. We provide for swimming lessons, private lessons, coach education opportunities and swim camps. We believe that you can be taught world class principles in a safe and fun way! We dare to Dream!

SWIM CAMP NEWS:  For more info go to swim camps page.

SWIM LESSONS: We teach children from 3yrs of age in our 'Nemo' groups where we invite parents to join in to assist with the transition into group lessons.  After Nemo our swimmers begin our own swim lesson programme designed by Gary Vandermeulen (Olympic swimmer 1988, Olympic Coach 2000 & 2004) and updated regularly with improvements from our instructors.  Our swimming programme introduces breaststroke kick earlier and dolphin kick earlier than other lesson programmes because these movements are very natural for young swimmers.  Our levels 1-6 gradually take children through the learning process of all swimming strokes: Frontcrawl, Backcrawl, Breaststroke and Butterfly.  In levels 7 & 8 our lesson time increases to 40minutes (from 30minutes) and we begin to fine tune swimming strokes.  We do not currently publish our syllabus on our web site due to the fact that our syllabus in the past has been copied by our competition.  Our programme contnues to improve and if you are interested in the criteria for moving from level to level we can email you the information.  Our syllabus is the ONLY programme which introduces activities that supports future activity in Synchronised swimming and water polo. 

PRE-COMPETITIVE LESSONS: These lessons take the level 8 swimmers and start teaching in areas that prepares a child for competitive swimming.  They learn dives from starting blocks, tumble turns (and all stroke turns) and are introduced to using swimming to improve their fitness.  These lessons are kept fun and interesting!  Our Phoenix Aquatics team also teaches pre-competitive levels.  Our swim school supports all clubs around our lesson programmes.  Where possible we support the Phoenix Aquatics club due to its policy of introducing all aquatics sports.

Sheppard Swim School is jointly owned and directed by Scotland's most successful female swimmer; five time Olympian Alison Sheppard MBE and her husband, Olympic coach Gary Vandermeulen. We teach lessons in multiple locations: Perth, Dundee, St Andrews, Auchterarder, Stirling, Kincardine and als in Dollar as part of our upper levels in the new swim club; Phoenix Aquatics.

The newly formed Phoenix Aquatics swimming club is coached by Gary Vandermeulen.It is not a part of the Sheppard Swim School except that we support the club.The club is a members run not-for-profit organization. At Phoenix Aquatics they have pre-competitive swimming, competitive swimming, masters swimming, synchronised swimming, Triathlon and Water Polo. 

We provide high quality swimming lessons in the following areas:

Perth area Glenalmond College pool (PH1 3RY);

St Andrews Fife St Leonards School (KY16 9QJ); or also click here for a detailed map of pool area & parking.

Stirling area at Bannockburn High School on Sundays (FK7 0HQ) and Wallce High School on Tuesdays (FK9 5HW)

Kincardine at Tulliallan Police College for swim clinics for competitive swimmers.  Email for upcoming events.

Auchterarder area Castlebrae Police Treatment Centre pool -Auchterarder (PH3 IAG);