Diving into Life: Gaynor’s journey with Pembrokeshire Leisure

The aquatic world, is one that so many take fore-granted, but not in Pembrokeshire. One individual has dedicated their life to a noble cause of teaching people to swim. Meet Gaynor Almond, inspiring hundreds to swim over her 50 years of service with Pembrokeshire Leisure.


Gaynor’s journey began in her 1972, where she found herself taking a position as lifeguard in the open air pool in Milford Haven, on the Rath. The summers were warm and Gaynor found herself enjoying her time and wanted to learn more.


Gaynor began work at Milford Haven Leisure Centre in 1974 where she threw herself in to all aspect of the business and became a qualified Swimming teacher. This is where her passion for teaching others this all important life skill began.


She believes that everyone, regardless of age or background, deserves the opportunity to learn this life-saving skill. Her classes are not just about mastering techniques but fostering confidence and instilling a deep respect for water.


One of the most rewarding aspects of Gaynor’s work is witnessing the transformation in her students. From timid beginners to confident swimmers, she guides them through each step with patience and encouragement. For some, conquering their fear of water is a victory in itself, while others discover a newfound passion for aquatic sports.


Gaynor’s impact extends across generations, she has taught many people to swim who have now had children of their own and so the cycle begins again. She has brought joy to many people who have taken their swimming further and are now members of our county swimming squad.


As the ripples of her impact continue to spread, Gaynor remains humbled by the privilege of guiding others on their aquatic journey. With every dive into the unknown, she reaffirms her belief in the transformative power of swimming and the boundless potential within each individual. In a world often divided by barriers, Gaynor’s message rings clear: we are all capable of learning to swim.


Recently Gaynor’s 50 years of service, and dedication to teaching Swimming, were celebrated with an invite to a ceremony at Buckingham Palace! She was nominated by fellow Swimming Instructor, Martin.


In Gaynor’s words, “I have loved my 50 years with Pembrokeshire Leisure and the centre’s I have worked at, having seen so many people in my teaching career, I feel honoured to have helped people in many ways.”


And in our words, “thank you” Gaynor for all you have done, guiding, teaching and so much more. Your joyful personality makes our centre’s a wonderful place to be, here’s to the future and many more swimmers coming to your lessons.


A picture of our Swimming Instructor Gaynor
Our Swimming Instructor Gaynor at Buckingham Palace
Gaynor with a member of staff at Buckingham Palace
Gaynor and her husband at Buckingham Palace