Our Team

Liz Hughes


I became a swimming teacher whilst completing a four year degree in Physical Education teaching at Greenwich University and have been teaching for 18 years. I have as much passion and enthusiasm for swimming now as I did when I first started, I work with babies through to adults and beginners to club level swimmers.
I have always loved sport having competed at a high level in gymnastics and represented Great Britain in Pole vaulting on numerous occasions, with a UK ranking of number 2 in both disciplines of pole vaulting and Olympic weightlifting. I have also competed in the television show 'Gladiators.' I work with an awesome team of instructors and am proud to say I love my job!

Tom Butcher


As a qualified level 2 swimming instructor and life guard I have been teaching swimming for 3 years, prior to this I worked in the financial sector as an F.S.A. qualified financial advisor.
Never happy being behind a desk, one evening whilst athletic training at Sutton arena I bumped into Liz, later, as our relationship developed we talked of starting the Duck and Dive swimming school when that eventually came to fruition I left that desk behind forever.
My background and first love in sport is rugby, I have played at county level, under 21s Rugby and second team for Saracens. After injury issues I turned to athletics, specialising in the 100 metres event, achieving a PB of 10.7 at county level.
Having been so involved in sport from a very young age it has given me the experience, dedication and enthusiasm needed for training and coaching of others. I love to see people of all ages conquer their fears, grow in confidence, self esteem and self belief, their achievements have become my motivation. I look forward to a long and successful future with Swim Stars, teaching, meeting new swimming students, new instructors and not least, having fun!



I started swimming at the age of five. Mum was scared of the water so she took the bull by the horns enrolling my sisters and myself into the local swim lessons, with one objective, to swim with confidence.
I joined the local swimming club, by the age of fourteen I was winning at County level (Middlesex) and breaking some of their long held records, I qualified for the National Championships achieving top three rating.
At sixteen I was offered a scholarship to go to America or Australia, on turning them down my coach offered me a job at the pool that I was training at. I took my lifeguard qualifications and teaching certificates while doing my A levels and training 12 sessions weekly.
I have been so lucky in my chosen career, experiencing swimming at highest level, teaching for 25 years and not least being a parent, I have taught from babies to adults and get incredible satisfactions seeing people gain in confidence and competence.

I have worked for many swim companies, but Swim Stars and its ethos, backed by its sympathetic, experienced and dedicated team of instructors makes it one of the best swimming schools in the country.



I Arrived in London from the North East in 1986 and joined the Metropolitan Police. I am married with two daughters and we live in West Wickham. I've always been involved with sport representing the police in football for 10 years until injuries put a stop to my promising soccer career! Looking around for something to keep me in touch and connected with sport I qualified as a physical training instructor.
On retiring from the Police I began to work for the local authority as an outreach worker with children who had learning difficulties until that department was closed down. I had also taken a course and qualified as a swimming instructor after getting the idea taking my youngest daughter to local swim lessons.
It is just great to see the progress in confidence that children and adults will make in learning how to swim and I feel proud that I've played a small part in that.