Swim instructor bestowed with prestigious honour
WITHIN three years of opening the business, Above & Beyond Swim School owner Shad Royston has already achieved a pinnacle of success.
He was recently given the Teacher of the Year for Learners with Disability title at the ASCTA/Swim Australia Annual Awards in Brisbane.
"It was a great honour,” Mr Royston said.
He remained humble and credited his success to the hard work of the staff that surrounded him.
"I think it's probably a reflection of work that we've been doing here as a business in the community.”
Soon after opening in 2016, Mr Royston found a gap in the market for lessons that cater towards students with a disability.
"There's qualifications that Swim Australia provides - I first went in to that about two years ago now.”
It was a perfect storm for the business - with the NDIS also rolling out in to the Gladstone region at the same time.
"(The NDIS) has given parents extra funding that some of them to be able to afford some of those services,” Mr Royston said.
"That's definitely helped a lot of those children in the community to access (it).”
Parents have given Mr Royston, and wife Toni, positive feedback over those lessons.
"They love it,” he said.
"We had a lot of parents come up and thank us for providing (the lessons).”
Mr Royston, a former rugby league player, said it was a dream for the couple to start up a swim school.
"It's something that we've been planning to do for a long time,” he said.
"I got in to the industry as an 18-year old when I finished school.”
He originally worked in different roles of pool management before moving over to the United Kingdom to play rugby league.
When he and Toni returned to Australia, they were at a crossroads on where to go next.
"What are we going to do with our lives?” Mr Royston said.
Being surrounded by close friends who were already in the swimming school industry, the pair was guided towards the eventual opening of the Beecher swim school.
For more information, visit the school's Facebook page.