Swimming is something which is taught in many primary schools. This is your first chance to see if this is something you are interested in and the good thing about it is that it's free.
When learning to swim the most important things to remember are to swim in a swimming pool and one with a lifeguard. You will also need to take a friend or family member who is a strong swimmer or have a coach with you.
Many swimming pools hold classes for young people with qualified instructors so this can be a great way of learning if you didn't get to go in primary school.
Remember until you are a confident swimmer not to go in the deep end.
Once you have perfected a stroke you need to move on to the next one. A good swimmer is strong at many strokes as most swimming competitions are done in teams so you need to be versatile.
Swimming requires a great level of body strength and fitness so as well as taking swimming lessons implement your own fitness plan.
If you can't find a local swimming pool or your school doesn't do swimming lessons log on to http://www.britishswimming.org to find out more information.
Many Schools will let you do your swimming badges so always be working towards getting one and as soon as you have achieved it move on to the next one.
Many schools and swimming pools will have their own competitive teams so when you feel confident ask about joining a team.
There is a structure in place for progression through competitions and as soon as you have won local competitions you should be entering regional, then national competitions.
If you can afford your own personal coach this can be a great advantage as you can get one on one tuition and train for more hours but if you can't afford a coach just get yourself to the pool as much as possible and work on your skills.