Meet The DS Swim Team


Blending years of experience with a proven methodical swimming approach, our team have helped hundreds of swimmers achieve a broad variety of goals in the sport, including medalling at national and international level.

Dave Sankey, Founder, Managing Director & Head Coach

Dave started DS Swim in 2006 after working with US Olympic coach David Salo on his swim camp in Los Angeles, and realising that swim clinics in the UK were not doing enough to offer swimmers individualised help with their technique, and were failing to use video analysis effectively.

Dave has been involved with swimming as a swimmer and coach for over 20 years, and during that time has worked with swimmers at every level, from absolute beginners up to international athletes.

Dave was a Senior National Finalist on several occasions, who finished his swimming career ranked top 100 in the world rankings on 50m Breaststroke, and held a number of county records, one of which still stands nearly two decades on. He has trained alongside swimmers including double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington, and was coached and mentored by GB Head Coach Bill Furniss.

An accredited ASA Level 4 Coach, Dave has worked as Head Coach of several clubs, coaching swimmers to National medals of all colours in multiple programmes.

As well as running technique clinics and one to one coaching sessions through the DS Swim Performance Coaching programme, Dave also runs a thriving swim school in North Derbyshire, the DS Swim Learn to Swim Academy, and oversaw the opening of the DS Gym & Pool facility in North Derbyshire in January 2019.

Never one to stand still, Dave is currently working on developing the new Swim Talk podcast, as well as writing a book on teaching & coaching swimming, and coaching the Performance swimmers at Repton School in South Derbyshire. Also a qualified secondary school teacher and former Head of Maths, and father to 3 young children, Dave lives with his family just outside Chesterfield in North Derbyshire, England.

Jake Golding – Learn to Swim Coordinator

Jake has more than 10 years’ experience teaching and coaching swimming at all levels, from babies to international swimmers! He joined the DS team in January 2019, and was appointed to the position of Learn to Swim Coordinator in January 2020. Below is a little more about Jake, in his own words:

“Hi! I have always loved to swim, ever since I was a child. As a boy I used to swim for Chesterfield Swimming Club. I used to swim to regional standard myself which I enjoyed and thrived being in the swimming environment. At the age of 14 I started helping with Chesterfield’s learn to swim programme I enjoyed it that much I gained my ASA helpers award and started assisting with the teachers in there programme. By the time I was 15 I started taking small groups of children under their teachers supervision to teach and enhance their learning in the pool. When I was 16 I completed my ASA Level One Teachers award and started teaching my own groups for Chesterfield. I also started to assist coaches and started to implement my teaching skills and enhance my coaching skills which saw me gain fast tracking to my ASA Level Two Coaches award and become Head Age Group Coach at Chesterfield SC. Whilst at chesterfield I taught many swimmers from parent and toddler through to adult learn to swim and adult classes. As a coach I coached swimmers that gained regional medals and finals I also coached swimmers that gained national times, finals and medals. I have coached swimmers that still compete for Great Britain (as of 2019). I left in the summer of 2012 to coach in America where I coached a multiple of sports from ages 3-14. During my coaching I gained a NVQ Level two in Sport and Recreation, from there I completed a two year BTec National Diploma in Sport Performance and Excellence. In September 2012 I embarked upon a 3 year course of which I have graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a BA Honours Degree in Physical Education. After finishing my degree in 2016 I swiftly moved to work for Sport for Life, Shanghai, China and began my career as a swimming teacher and multi sports coach, where I stayed for a year teaching parent and babies classes through to swimmers who competed in the Asian games. I started their first ever competitive swim team and expanded their swim programme which saw them have their highest ever numbers.”

Paula DiNitto

Paula has been teaching swimming for more than 15 years. She has a reputation locally as an outstanding teacher, and has been teaching with us since the academy launched in 2015. Paula is a firm but fair teacher who passionately shares our belief that teaching skills correctly at a young age gives swimmers the tools to be great swimmers for life! Paula has such a strong reputation locally, that when she first joined the team dozens of people joined the academy from other centres in Clowne, Eckington, and further afield, keen to have her teaching their children!

Both of Paula’s children swam at a high level, and we are delighted that her granddaughter Ruby is now making great progress in our lessons too!

Ian Fahy

Ian got involved in swimming through his daughter more than 10 years ago. Over the years, he has had many roles in swimming, from Swimming Club Chairman to Head Coach at Nottingham Northern Swimming Club, where he is currently working (and achieving great success)! Ian has an infectious enthusiasm to partner with his excellent technical knowledge, which cannot fail to make children and adults alike feel at ease in the water. Usually in charge of our Academy One to One lessons on Saturday afternoons, he can occasionally be found covering our group lessons too!


Call: 07380304418