From Passion to Profit: Meet Temitayo, the Swimming Entrepreneur
A popular saying in Ogun state, South West Nigeria that descendants of Ijebu land do not go swimming may have been true until Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur Temitayo Orekoya (2016) came in contact with the sport. Growing up, Temitayo never had any encounter with sports but rather was seen as a nerd with a gift for teaching, but a chance visit to University swimming pool as a young undergraduate of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria changed everything he says “The University of Ibadan swimming pool was the first large body of water I ever found myself in. A couple of friends had cajoled me to follow them to the swimming pool during a nationwide Senior Lecturers strike in my 200Level. I saw the humongous pool and the large number of fun seekers there and I was totally fascinated. I got hooked from day 1.”
From the first experience, he learnt to swim, joined the University swimming team and 1 year later Temitayo was good enough at the sport to be recognised as the University’s number 1 Breaststroke swimmer and this he maintained through his stay at the university additionally representing the school at the Nigerian University Games and the West African University Games.
At the University, Temitayo combined his passion for teaching with his newly found love for swimming and became a swimming instructor alongside his study, this continued even after his stint at the university and into corporate life. He would constantly teach swimming every evening after work and on weekends through his time at multiple financial houses and this venture to corporate life came to an end when he quit his last employment with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank to focus on teaching. The passion to demystify swimming for another human to learn effortlessly he says was the major driver.
The drive to really commercialize the swimming lessons to offer the classes to a larger number of persons per time birthed Crawford Swimming World. The uniqueness of his business has seen him receive several awards. It is estimated that 80% of Nigerians do not know how to swim. Also, the drive for physical fitness and weightloss has made swimming a viable exercise option for most Nigerian.
Following learnings from the the TEF programme Temitayo and his team of 3 full time Administrators, 3 full time Coaches, 8 Contract Coaches and 1 Contract Virtual Assistant developed Crawford from a Swimming Coach into a Swimming school providing programming for children and adult at pocket friendly rates. Crawford Swimming Pool offers Swimming Made Easy by teaching adult and children (from 2yrs).
Crawford has also classed itself by its marketing strategies using full-fledged digital marketing structure to becoming a well-known name in swimming training in Nigeria.
Success driven, Temitayo says has always been the strong positivity that he brings into his work, The passion to see a human transcend from being a novice to becoming a swimmers is key to his drive for the business he says “It brings great joy to see a beginner begin to swim effortlessly within the 10 classes and I believe many of our students see this and has made many of them recommend Crawford to their friends and families.
Crawford is on a rising scale as the Business is on the verge of developing into a full fledge Gymnasium, Spa and Salon with the swimming pool at the ground floor. Crawford Swimming World in collaboration with the Nigeria Swimming RecordsTM has also put together an Age-grade Swimming competition for children from 7 to 10 years, where they will compete for medals and awards within a friendly environment. The first edition of which started in January, 2018 with 170 kids registering and attending the event as well has hundreds of spectators. The Swimming competition is indeed a unique initiative that leads to greater good, joy and improved quality of life for the children because of an assured future in their chosen sport. The swimming records for the children are also available online on www.swimrecordsng.com
Like every entrepreneur, this is not without challenges some of which he says include cost expenses – Devaluation of the Naira (Pool chemicals and Swim accessories), High Cost of running business (Electricity, Generators, Fuelling) and Increasing digital advert cost (Devaluation of the Naira)
However applying the lessons from the 12-week training programme of the TEF programme, he says he now has problem-focused methodologies in creating value for his customers. Temitayo has a long term goal of taking Crawford to foray into Gabon, Ghana, Ethiopia and Angola.
To reach out to Temitayo and the Crawford team, visit: www.csw.com.ng
Instagram @crawfordswimnigeria, Calls/Whatsapp 08090969849 and 08091111987
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