It’s not everyday that a couple’s decision to drop every penny into a dream becomes a successful reality, but that risky prospect has paid off and now expands to Syosset this November.
Dave Ferris and Ginny Nussbaum are the founders and owners of the Long Island Swim School of Garden City, a well-known institution which currently instructs an astonishing 1,300 children each week. The duo are regarded as two of the top swim coaches in the United States, so it’s safe to say that they know a thing or two about teaching kids how to navigate a body of water, Ferris said.
“We’ve been in swimming for 35 years. We started the Long Island Aquatic Club, which is one of the top, most decorated competitive swimming teams in the country,” he said. “In addition, we’ve always had an important component in our program about teaching others how to swim and we’ve been teaching kids for years and making them into good swimmers.”
The Long Island Swim School specializes in teaching kids of all ages how to swim, starting with students as young as two years old, with Ferris noting that the younger you start, the more effective lessons can be. But if you’re of the older set and haven’t yet mastered the water, fear not—there are some adult classes available as well.
In addition to their work running the Long Island Aquatic Club, the couple rented out a pool in 2003 at a health club located in Uniondale and began their own swimming school.
They eventually lost their lease in 2009, forcing them to frantically escalate plans they had been making all along of opening up their very own facility.
“It was where we were going and it forced us to go a lot faster than we were probably ready to,” he said. “We put our life savings into it and maxed out our credit cards in the middle of a recession. We were scared, but Ginny was our rock at that point. She said that we’d succeed due to the name recognition from our team and our reputations in the field. It ended up being the right time to do it.”
The initial Long Island Swim School opened its doors in Garden City in 2010.
Ferris noted that it was an immediate success and soon they found themselves beyond capacity and in the unfortunate position of having to actually turn customers away.
However, the idea of opening additional venues was always on their minds, Ferris said, and in 2015 they began construction a new school in Syosset.
The new facility, slated to open this November, is double the size of the original. Once construction is complete, the 13,000-square-foot school will boast two 25-yard heated pools, boys’ and girls’ locker rooms and a viewing deck where parents can watch their kids paddle to their heart’s content.
Ferris said that this isn’t the end of expansions for the school. He envisions a future where there are up to 10 Long Island Swim Schools throughout Long Island and noted that they have the experience, drive and qualified staff—many of whom are competitive-level swimmers trained by Ferris and Nussbaum—to make that dream a reality.
“We have a great understanding of the sport and how to teach people since we’ve been doing it for 35 years at a national level and this will be the largest and finest swim facility on Long Island,” Ferris said. “Syosset is a tremendous area for people who want quality programming for their children, so it is just a natural place to come in and do a great swimming program. And working with the children and seeing how you affect them and how many go on to competitive swimming. It is absolutely wonderful.”
The Long Island Swim School’s Syosset location plans on having a “soft” opening in November, although a specific date is not nailed down yet.
To find out more on their opening and programs available, visit www.longislandswimschool.com.