alison_sheppard_with_SaltireAlison Sheppard MBE and Gary Vandermeulen are co-owners of the Sheppard Swim School. Their combined knowledge in swimming is formidable. In addition to the Sheppard Swim School, they also run the Phoenix Aquatics Swim Team.  Alison is first woman in the world to swim at 5 Olympic Games and is now a qualified personal trainer. Alison was awarded an MBE for services to swimming in 2003. Read more about Alison:

The whole magazine (big file!, go to page 28):

Alison_Commentating_2Alison commentating at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2009.

Alison commentated at the London Olympic Games in 2012 and will be commentating at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

Gary Vandermeulen is an Olympian, competing for Canada in 1988. In 2000 Gary was a member of the GB Olympic team as a coach. Gary has been named as Scotland's Coach of the Year most recently in 2004.  Gary is the only swimming coach in Scotland that has attended the Olympic Games both as an athlete and as a coach.  If you would like private lessons with Gary please plan ahead as they are in very high demand.  Lessons with Gary are £50.00/hr.

The Sheppard Swim School is a registered VAT company and currently teaches at six venues; Glenalmond College (PH1 3RY), St Leonards School (KY16 9QJ), Bannockburn High School (FK7 0HQ), Castlebrae Police Treatment Centre (PH3 1AG), and Wallace High School (FK9 5HW).  Gary is the head coach of the Phoenix Aquatics swim club.

Our teaching philosophy is focussed on correct technique and safety. We currently have over 22 instructors working with us to teach our programmes.

Our programme includes:Sheppard-Swim-School-Gary-Vandermeulen

  • Adult and child lessons starting at 2.5yrs of age.
  • Pre-school lessons starting at 3yrs
  • Levels 1 to 8 in swimming lessons (non swimmer up to swimming 25m)
  • Pre-competitive lessons and pre-competitive racing experience
  • Competitive training for Triathletes and competitive swimmers
  • Private lessons (information page) or learn-to-swim and competitive swimmers, including non-swimming adults
  • Swim camps for competitive swimmers
  • Intensive lessons for specific weeks in the summer
  • Club visitations for coach mentoring, stroke development and dryland consultation. For a photot of a visit Gary did to Islay, go to: for info: Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Gary runs swim camps for individuals, clubs, districts and the Scottish National team.

Gary runs a blog called Swim Coaching Blog which has articles on swimming and swimming coaching. This blog has a following of over 2000 individuals who are interested in coaching. Individuals from around the world read this blog.  The individuals from the following countries have visited Gary's blog:

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