As many of your students’ favorite swim instructor at Goldfish Birmingham, we thought we owed it to you ahead of time to announce that Will Alberts will be packing his bags for his second leg of the Goldfish journey – one that, six years ago, he probably couldn’t have imagined. Will, along with his wife Sarah, sister-in-law Kendra and her fiancé Matt, will be opening their very own Goldfish Swim School in Grand Rapids, Michigan this summer. The opening is slated for mid July or early August.

For Will, a long-time Southeastern Michigander and huge Tigers fan, the move will be a big change of pace, but he feels confident that, along with a great support system and a company that, over the last six years, he’s come to know as family, he’ll be in good hands.

“I love what I do and I wanted to make sure it was something I could do for the rest of my life,” he said when asked about his decision to start his own Goldfish franchise.

Will teaching at Goldfish BirminghamWill has worked as a swim instructor at Goldfish Birmingham since 2006, among other facility jobs, but teaching is closest to his heart. Growing up as a swimmer, from age 4 all the way through college, he feels like this is his way to give back to the sport: “There is no greater feeling than seeing a child swim for the first time and knowing that I played a part in that child’s love for the water!”

When asked about what he’s most looking forward to with the transition, he says he’s excited to be part of a business that he’s help to cultivate and grow. He hopes that Goldfish affects Grand Rapids like it has Birmingham: “It’s great to see how a business like Goldfish can change how a community views swimming. My hopes are that we can help the sport of swimming grow in Grand Rapids and also save lives in the community.”

But, as you know, the exit will not be with dry eyes. Although he plans to return when he enrolls his own newborn in classes either this fall or in early 2013, Will says that leaving will still be tough: “The families that I have gotten to be a part of over the past six years will be the hardest thing to leave. Six years ago, I had no idea how lucky I would be to meet so many great kids and families.”

Will, Matt and MarkAnd it goes without saying that those of us in Birmingham will sure miss him! Let’s all wish him good luck! If you have a parting message for Will, who will be moving to Grand Rapids with his wife Sarah in mid-May or early June, please feel free to leave it in the comments section or on the Goldfish Grand Rapids Facebook page.