Above and Beyond Swim School founder Shad Royston has been recognised for his outstanding dedication to delivering aquatic education for learners with a disability. Shad has recently been awarded the Swim Australia 2019 accolade of Australian Swim Teacher of the Year for Learners with a Disability. 

“It is wonderful to be recognised for something I am so passionate about,” Shad said. Shad worked tirelessly behind the scenes at the swim school to develop the NDIS Program. “We were one of the first swim schools in Queensland to become an NDIS provider,” he added. At the award ceremony, held in Brisbane, Shad was honoured to meet Laurie Lawrence, a swimming legend and the Five Alive advocate.  

Above & Beyond Swim School was founded in 2016 by Shad and his wife Toni. Combining Shad’s experience in professional sport and junior development and Toni’s knowledge and experience in teaching, the couple have created the perfect environment for children to learn to swim. “We have been lucky enough to have won a number of awards so far; we were BDAQ state finalist for the design of our facilities and we won ‘Business to Watch’ at the Gladstone Best in Business awards, but the pinnacle now has to be the Australian Swim Teacher of the Year Award,” Shad explained. While Shad was honoured to accept the award, he credited the hard work and dedication of his staff as a key factor behind his success.  

Shad’s nomination was selected by a panel of judges who looked at the following areas; length of service, personal attributes, teaching experience, professional development and leadership. “We received mind blowing testimonials from our NDIS customers stating what an amazing impact Shad has had on their progress and the positive influence he has on their kids,” Toni added. 

As a registered NDIS provider, Shad and Toni have created an Inclusive Swimming Program for participants with special needs who require a more personalised approach. “Our qualified, passionate teachers are led by instructors with ASCTA’s Teacher of Learners with a Disability qualifications, and we specialise in swimming lessons for children with Autism, Communication Difficulties, Sensory Processing Disorder, Developmental Delay and Physical Disabilities,” Mr Royston explained. Above and Beyond Swim School’s NDIS Program allows members of the community to access services that were not previously available to them.