1998 To spare some time on commuting I try to run the swim school office from home in Denmark. Technology should be ready to transfer calls between the two countries but in reality phone lines doesn't work as stable as I need it to be. Instead I hire help with registration at the office in Sweden.
Denmark has many heated pools for baby swimming and there is a strong tradition within families of visiting the community pools and swim. But private swim schools is very rare. It's communities, public schools and subsidized swimming clubs that mostly teach swimming. Therefore there is hardly any culture or custom for private operators to lease or rent in this field.
But this year I finally find a pool in Copenhagen. I sign a contract for evenings and sundays at a private rehabilitation center – Juhuu! My initial plan is to close down in Sweden and live and work in Denmark. But how would I be able to do that? I am not. With good, loyal and responsible staff in Sweden I keep our Swedish swim school and I continue commuting and teaching now in two countries.
We slowly but surely fill up our classes in Denmark and I am lucky to find two great teachers.
But the joy is short. At the end of the year the CEO at the rehabilitation center wants out of the contract. Why is hard to understand. Johan helps me to find a great Danish lawyer. He says that we can go to court, we would most surely win, but it would take at least two years. In the mean time the CEO can close the doors on us. Our lawyer recommends us to negotiate. If the CEO gives us 6-12 months more to find a new pool we will sign off the contract. I am devastated and frustrated. Life is not always fair. I know how much this has cost. I know how hard it was to find this pool. I don't want to disappoint our families who swim with us. I don't want to disappoint my staff. But I have no better solution. I agree to try to negotiate. We go for, and get, 12 months. Now I want my own facility!
Thank you to all the Danish swim families who dared to believe in and try something different. Thank you to my first Danish staff members, it was a joy to get to know and work with you. Thank you to both swim families and staff for the loyalty, support and understanding when we broke the news that we only had a year left and that I did not know what would happen after that other than “we were working on it”.
Thank you to our lawyer Anders who helped us in the best way and actually spared me for more head- and heartaches. He knew what I did not know about our legal system.