"Many of my best childhood memories are tied to swimming. Swimming was definitely my favourite thing to do from a young age and it still is today. I can vividly remember the thrill of swimming my first width of the local pool with my teacher and parents cheering me on. I think I must have been destined to be a Water Babies teacher since that moment as I get that same thrill when I see the children in my classes achieving amazing things. Taking our first child to Water Babies classes and seeing him love it was the catalyst for becoming a teacher myself.
Our children do achieve amazing things and can swim distances of 5, 10 or even over 20 metres by 4 years of age but what means more to me is that they develop a love for the water and an understanding of how to enjoy it safely. I believe that nurturing a love of water is a real gift to give to a child and I always tell our parents that at their first lesson as I'm really proud to be a part of that.
The key to helping a child learn is to make sure they are having fun and connecting and bonding with their carer. Where better to do that than in our lessons? It's just you, your child, your classmates and the water - our job as teachers is to gently expand your child's comfort zone until they are relishing every challenge that we throw at them.
I've been teaching children in the West of Ireland for nearly 10 years now and I often bump into our former students, all grown up and I hear directly from them how much they love the water and what they are achieving in the pool now. Nothing makes me happier. I'm just waiting for the day when I meet some of them at my favourite surf spots along the West Coast!"