Swim Markin is owned and operated by Karen Markin. Karen began swimming as a toddler, in her local pool, and she has grown up with a couple of close family members with intellectual and physical disability. At the age of 10 she was swimming regularly for the local club and developed the passion and enthusiasm for open water/ocean swimming that remains with her today. The hobby became her career of choice, and she now has over 40 years’ experience as a fully accredited professional coach, currently based in the beautiful Bay of Islands in New Zealand.
Karen’s focus is on “ability”. Whatever your goal, Karen’s positive, cheerful, “can do” attitude will help you to achieve it, and in the process come to enjoy the passion for the water as she does.
Karen has developed a wide range of knowledge and experience coaching swimmers of any age and any ability, including those with physical and intellectual challenges. She is also able to communicate in Sign Language.
Karen is very proud to be one of only a few Autism Swim approved instructors in New Zealand.
Karen offers 1 to 1 sessions at Kawakawa Community Pool, or at private pools. She also offers groups sessions both in the pool and the ocean.
“Karen has been teaching our son Adam (27) over a number of years now since he was 7. Adam has brain and learning impairments that have a large impact on his everyday life. Karen’s swim programme and coaching over the years has provided Adam with the time he has needed to develop his swimming and also develop as a person in such a positive and beneficial way.Karen has an amazing understanding of Adams brain disability and adapts her programme by using techniques to help his brain process, learn and develop further and in turn helps with his swimming and life as well. Adam has a lot of respect for Karen and we as Adam’s parents appreciate her input into his development very much.It does go without having to say Karen Markin is one in a million!”– Vicky and Colin Horsefall
“I have a 15 year old daughter with special needs (non-verbal, intellectually handicapped, hypotonia, spinal fusion) who I wanted to learn to swim – at least be safe around water. I managed to secure a placement for her with Karen Markin who has now been teaching her for four or five years and I am so thrilled with her progress and my daughter considers it to be a highlight of her week. Karen is a warm and friendly person who relates with respect to my daughter and thoroughly professional and insightful to her needs. She is always working on new or alternative ways of teaching the techniques and safety issues with swimming at the same time making the lessons extremely fun and exciting.I feel very fortunate to have Karen as part of my daughter’s life.”-Briar McCorkindal
“My son started swimming with Karen 15 years ago, and she is one of the best swimming coaches I know. She is exceptionally great in working with special needs children/adults, they all just love her. And she has a great understanding of their needs and abilities and knows just how to push them to go a little bit further when they can. I would recommend her highly.”– Rolien Goldsack
Paihia New Zealand