History & mission - DL

Our Mission Statement

To promote Water Safety to our community and to bring the joys and benefits of the aquatic environment to anyone who has a desire or need to participate in aquatic activities, by teaching them how to be safe in and around water, and in doing so by continuing to develop a high quality program based around meeting the individual needs of our swimmers, while sharing our collective knowledge, vision and experience.

Who is Darren Lange

Darren Lange was born and raised in Toowoomba, Queensland. While showing talent as a swimmer at a young age, it wasn’t until he was into his teenage years that Darren started to consider a career as an elite swimmer in the pursuit of his dream of one day competing at the Olympic Games.

Over the decades Darren has won many awards and achieved great success both in the water and in his community. Visit Wikipedia for a detailed look at Darren’s achievements.

Darren retired from international competition in the year 2000 and ever since has focussed his energy into the DLSA and the further development of the program.

Darren’s passion is his family - wife Helen who helps in their businesses and daughters Gracie and Emmi; as well as his businesses.

After learning to swim following a near drowning incident as a child, Darren has a passion for water safety and the sport of swimming. “Without a doubt, one of the greatest experiences I have at DLSA is when mothers and fathers thank me for the part the DLSA has played in saving their child’s life through a near drowning incident. It can happen so quickly, and so easily, that, to me, being able to teach children skills of water safety is my greatest passion - because they truly are skills for life.”

Darren’s main role now within his businesses is training and assessing together with program development. “It’s a lesson well learned from my competitive career: we never stop working to make things better. But I can’t do it alone, my Team DLSA is very important to me. I genuinely believe we have a Team of dedicated individuals, keen to promote and uphold the DLSA values and standards of delivering a high quality water safety and learn-to-swim program.

“We are proud of our program and we want to make sure we live up to your expectations, as we take on the responsibility of teaching your children the life skill that is swimming.”

A bit of DLSA History


The DLSA was started by Olympic swimmer and Commonwealth Games Gold and Silver medallist, Darren Lange in 1994 in a small 12-metre teaching pool at what used to be known as Gunn St Learn-To-Swim in Toowoomba.

At the time Darren had just returned home from a successful Australian Team competition to the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games and the Rome World Championships.

Drawing upon his previous experience of teaching swimming and his years of elite swimming experience where he learned much about the biomechanics of how the body moves through the water, Darren devised a unique Learn-To-Swim Program.

In 1995 Darren’s mother, Hazel joined the growing business in an administrative role and still provides a wealth of experience to this day on all matters DLSA.

By 1996, the DLSA had outgrown the Gunn Street facility and Darren was able to find an investor to build the DLSA Wilsonton at 30 Erin St which opened its doors on the September 1997.

The same year Darren married his wife Helen. Over the years Helen has been involved in many areas of running the business, these days Helen handles all of the bright and colourful graphic design and artwork pertaining to the businesses.

In 1999, following the construction of the Centenary Heights High School Aquatic Facility, Darren secured major hirer rights and thus started the DLSA Centenary Heights program.


Darren retired from competitive international swimming in the year 2000 and was able to devote all his attention to the further development of the DLSA Program.

During the following six years, the DLSA Program was shaped and honed into one of the biggest and best learn-to-swim programs in South-East Queensland.


In 2006, Darren purchased Bird Pool Services, a pool and spa retail business and later renamed it Lange Pool and Spa, which continues to grow today.


In 2013, the DLSA began its 20th year of teaching people, young and old, about water safety and how to swim. The DLSA currently conducts a private program that caters to more than 1,900 lessons per week as well as a school program of more than 3,000 lessons per week.

Our Team has grown in size, too, with more than 30 qualified and highly-trained staff working together to deliver a program to the standard at which our customers have come to expect.