About FinS Swim School

Safe and Fun Swimming Lessons
in Kotara for All Ages

FinS Swim School, Kotara

Relentlessly passionate, encouraging, and patient — FinS Swim School enthusiastically brings your child priceless aquatic education.

From our purpose-built swimming pool facilities in Kotara, our qualified team of dedicated instructors delivers fun and enthusiastic coaching — giving children lifelong confidence and a passion for water activities.

Whether babies or infants, teens or adults, FinS Swim School provides the same high level of attention, support, and focus on safety.

About Damon Rodd — Founder and Managing Director

Founder and Managing Director Damon Rodd

Our swimming programs are meticulously designed by Damon Rodd, the founder and managing director of FinS Swim School.

His long swimming journey began as an increasingly independent four-year-old — deciding immediately on hitting the water that he didn’t like swimming lessons! However, receiving encouragement from motivated instructors, he soon learned to love the water — becoming a competitor for Newcastle’s Swim Club at both State and National levels.

At university, his passion for all things aquatic was undiminished. While studying for his economics degree, Damon founded his first swim school — the Rodd Swim School — at the outdoor and unheated Wallsend Olympic Pool. He had no idea that these humble beginnings would lead to his full-time profession.

While observing competitor schools and their instructors, he saw too many children sitting poolside, looking bored, waiting for their turn — rather than actively participating in lessons. Damon knew that any time not swimming or splashing was wasted — and did nothing to nurture water confidence or enthusiasm in the children.

This led him to develop his core learn-to-swim philosophy — fun and continuous swimming — an ideology that nurtures swim enjoyment, and focuses on valuable and lengthy water time. This core principle remains to this day.

As a coach and designer of learn-to-swim programs, Damon is dedicated to seeking out the latest research. His unwavering goal of implementing best practices in his swim schools has involved attending global conferences and visiting countless Australian swim schools.

Damon is an AUSTSWIM-qualified instructor and Silver-level swim coach. Dedicated to the continual improvement of children in sport, he has also coached Surf Swim Survival, netball and rugby.

Instructors and Teaching

Learn Swimming Near Me

At FinS Swim School, we believe that an encouraging, safe, and welcoming environment is key to providing the ultimate water education for your child — an atmosphere generated by our committed instructors.

With all our teaching staff AUSTSWIM and Royal Life qualified — and child protection checked — we ensure children receive the highest standard of nationally recognised instruction. Targeting safety, survival, stroke development, and age-suitable techniques — our student-tailored programs ensure your child learns and progresses at the most appropriate speed.

Learn Swimming Near Me

Furthermore, at FinS Swim School, we place significant emphasis on in-house staff development. Many of our instructors have grown, developed, and trained within our school — typically starting as desk and administrative assistants and progressing to the rank of swimming instructor.

Built upon 40 years of experience, our programs centre on building exceptional techniques. A smarter and more systematic use of flotation aids means children spend nearly 300 percent more time in the water, compared to traditional lessons. This means faster progression, improved skill proficiency, and most important of all — lots of fun!

And, there’s more to life than just swimming.

Our instructors and teaching programs develop more than simply water skills. They instil confidence, self-belief, resilience, and pride in your child — priceless qualities that will last a lifetime.

FinS Swim School Timeline

January 1, 1989 — The Rodd Swim School is founded at the outdoor and unheated Wallsend Olympic Pool.

May 5, 1990 — Damon develops and implements his core philosophies that focus on fun and swimming time within each lesson.

January 6, 1998 — Damon and his wife Leisa take over The Viking Centre, Cardiff, and The Rodd Squad is born.

January 1, 2000 — A new 25-metre pool is built at The Viking Centre, Cardiff NSW, to accommodate the fast-growing Learn-to-Swim program. The Rodd Squad members make National title finals, as well as winning events at Newcastle, Country and State championships.

January 1, 2006 — Damon sets up swim programs for Singleton Council, Raymond Terrace YMCA, and Eurobodalla pools.

December 1, 2010 — Damon opens Just Like Fish Swim School in Rutherford. As co-owner, he can implement his Learn-to-Swim program from the ground up.

January 1, 2016 — Just Like Fish enrolments increase fivefold from their first year. Damon develops a State-level swim team from the ranks of his junior squads.

November 14, 2016 — FinS Swim School opens its Learn-to-Swim program in Kotara, NSW.

Our Facilities

FinS Swim School Kotara

Fins Swim School is a privately owned swim school based at Unit 2, 35 Northcott Drive, Kotara, NSW — behind Officeworks Kotara, seven kilometres from Newcastle CBD. Our purpose-built pool utilises modern disinfection techniques — without harmful chlorine — to ensure swimmer safety and comfort. Our extensive sanitising procedures include the use of:

FinS Swim School Kotara
  • Sand filters
  • Ultra-violet sanitiser
  • Medical-grade water
  • Ozone (O3) disinfection

The absence of chlorine provides a more pleasant swimming environment and experience — especially for the children.

Gentle on their bodies, our aqua treatments prevent hair damage, remove the unpleasant chlorine aroma, and are less likely to irritate skin allergies and intolerances. And, most welcomed by younger swimmers, it allows agreeable and sting-free water/eye contact — meaning goggles aren’t necessary!

Testimonials From Our Delighted Swimmers and Parents

“FinS Swim School is a fantastic space. It’s light-filled and spacious with no chlorine smell.”

— Proud father of two, Matt Donovan, Newcastle, NSW

“Damon taught all my four kids to swim. They progressed quickly, loved going, and I highly recommend his program.”

— Dr. Jon Candrick, E.R. Doctor, Newcastle, NSW

“FinS Kotara is the best purpose-built learn-to-swim centre I have seen, not just in Newcastle, but anywhere.”

— Ben Jenkinson, First Splashes, Toronto

Why Choose FinS Swim School?

✔ More time swimming — over 80 percent of lesson time.

✔ Free baby classes — parents and children in the water together!

✔ Proven record — over 40 years of experience.

✔ Free ten-minute assessment — no wasted lesson time.

✔ Safety Week — crucial life-saving skills and techniques.

✔ Purpose-built pool — chlorine-free!

✔ School holiday swimming lessons in Kotara — five-day week intensive course.

✔ 30-day money-back guarantee after four lessons — no questions asked!

✔ Individually-tailored programs — to ensure your child’s rapid progression.

✔ Staff training— continual professional development.

✔ Focus on learning, safety, and fun — promoting enjoyment and water skills.

✔ Fully trained instructors — both AUSTSWIM and Royal Life certified.

FinS Swim School — Let’s Make a Splash, Together!

Indoor Swimming Lessons for Kids

Teaching your child to swim, instilling a life-long passion for water, and developing priceless self-belief — FinS Swim School makes swimming fun!

From baby’s first splashes, through to multi-stroke school carnival preparation — our qualified and devoted instructors ensure your child receives the targeted, ability-appropriate instruction they deserve.

With our purpose-built chlorine-free pool, your child spends extensive time in the water — not waiting poolside! And offering school holiday lessons, survival programs, and free assessments — FinS Swim School is your complete aquatic educator in NSW.

Indoor Swimming Lessons for Kids

Looking for Swimming Lessons in Kotara?

Look No Further Than FinS Swim School! Call Us Today