Family mourns sudden death of ‘passionate’ Weston swimming teacher, aged 34

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 March 2018

Luke and his daughter Nicole.

Luke and his daughter Nicole.

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A Weston-super-Mare father, who achieved his dream to become a swimming teacher and inspired hundreds of children, has died suddenly aged just 34.

Luke and members of Weston Swimming Club.Luke and members of Weston Swimming Club.

The family and friends of Luke Puchalski, who has an eight-year-old daughter, said goodbye to him at his funeral this week, and paid tribute to his role in inspiring Weston youngsters to swim.

Luke moved to Weston from Poland around 14 years ago, and took classes to learn English and trained to become a swimming coach and teacher.

He had been teaching at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre at Weston Swimming Club’s Learn To Swim classes for the past six years.

His family and friends do not know the cause of his sudden death, and said he seemed happy and himself before he passed away.

Luke and his daughter Nicole when she was younger.Luke and his daughter Nicole when she was younger.

His close friend and fellow swimming teacher Rob French told the Mercury: “His dream was to be a swim teacher, and that showed in every lesson he took.

“He had so much passion, and his lessons were always fun for the kids.

“They didn’t realise they were being taught, they were having so much fun.

“He was always happy, no matter what he was doing, and a lovely person.”

Luke also offered assistance to people who travelled to Weston from Poland, helping them to find jobs, and often a place to stay.

Rob said: “He did that for a lot of people in Weston. He is really well-respected for that.”

Rob said Luke’s real love was his daughter, Nicole, who has been offered swimming lessons for life at the club.

Rob added: “Nicole’s mum also has the support not just from everyone in the Polish community, but also the swimming club.

“We have created a trophy in Luke’s memory for the most improved Learn To Swim swimmers.”

A spokesman from Weston Swimming Club said: “Luke was so thoughtful, always full of laughter and such a great man.

“The memories we have together will be cherished forever and we will continue to share your enthusiasm, passion and love for swimming at Learn To Swim.

“We send our love and support to Luke’s family and his beautiful little girl Nicole.

“A man that has touched the hearts of many and will never be forgotten.”

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