Ian Waller and his sons enjoy a early evening of swimming fun at Bath Sports and Leisure Centre

Just a quick word of warning – there are sharks in the one of the pools at Bath Sports and Leisure Centre… and zombie pirates… and indeed zombie pirate sharks. But don’t worry, they’re not that dangerous and actually had my two sons laughing out loud and enjoying their attacks.

OK, yes, perhaps a bit of focus here is needed. It was Tuesday after school and the boys and I decided it was about time we visited the newly designed swimming pools at the sports centre in Bath. In fact, they’d already been along on a couple of occasions since the £8 million refurbishment that took place over the summer, and were keen to show me the changes.

It turned out that one of the great things about going swimming at 5.30pm on a Tuesday is no queue at reception, meaning we were straight into the much larger changing area, in our swimmers in no time and on to the pools.

The first things you notice when you get in is a that the jacuzzi has gone and a new, smaller teaching pool has taken it place. Well, the boys didn’t want a jacuzzi anyway and were more interested in the fun pool, which still retains one of its tube slides, along with a play area for smaller children complete with all manner of water toys and attractions.

For my two, however, it was games of sharks and zombie pirates that got the biggest laugh, with me chasing after them, wrestling them off giant floats and seeing who could go the fastest down the tube slide. With only one other family in the fun pool, there was plenty of space, with a lifeguard keeping an eye on everything just in case.

I’ve never been much of a swimmer, although since we’ve had children I’ve made an effort to join in the fun in the pool whenever possible. The results are that I’ve been able to see the children’s confidence and skills in the water blossom, while my own swimming has improved too. And no matter what’s happened in the day or who is in a mood with who, a trip to the swimming pool always seems to generate smiles all around.

With the sharks chased away and the zombies having escaped, we left the fun pool for a few lengths of the main pool. Staying out of the laned-off area, where the serious swimmers ploughed relentlessly up and down, the boys were keen to show off their improved technique, with seven year old Joe particularly proud that he could now swim lengths – five of them!

Top marks too to the lifeguard who took the effort to check with me that Joe was a good enough swimmer to be in the deep end, before giving him a few friendly words of advice on his technique.

As we continued with our fun, a children’s swimming clubs started to take over the laned-off area while one-on-one swimming lessons for adults were taking place in the new training pool.

By the time we decided to head back to the showers and changing rooms, Joe had completed his most number of lengths ever, Dan’s technique was looking better and better, and we’d all enjoyed a great early evening’s fun, sharks, zombie pirates and all.

You can find out more about the swimming pool at Bath Sports and Leisure Centre by clicking here