A few weeks ago I met some of the Puddle Ducks’ team at a Hello Baby event in Ashford!
After some correspondence with Haidee in the marketing department, I was granted the pleasure of interviewing her boss, Victoria.
Victoria first joined the team in 2013. She started out as a customer, then became a teacher and now runs Puddle Ducks East Kent with her business partner, Caroline.
Puddle Ducks was first started in 2002, and teaches baby, toddler and child swimming lessons, as well as Aquanatal classes for expectant Mums.
Not only do their swimming lessons teach invaluable swimming skills, but they also cover personal survival skills too – as well as lots of games and songs! They are incredibly fun, so much so that children don’t even realise they are learning all the time!
Q: What age range do you cater for?
We offer swimming lessons from birth, all the way through to children aged up to 10 years old. We also run Aquanatal classes for expectant Mums. Our classes cover the majority of Kent, and we teach 7 days a week!
Q: What sort of benefits are there to learning to swim from such a young age?
Learning to swim at any age is so important, and water is a natural environment for a baby, as they have spent months in fluid during pregnancy. Babies are born with lots of natural reflexes that, if caught early enough, can really help aid the transition to swimming.
Benefits of swimming extend to outside of classes, too, including social, physical and mental benefits. It’s brilliant exercise and is wonderful for strengthening joints and muscles.
Q: What are some of you funniest/most embarrassing moments?
Our funniest moments often tend to centre around Puddle – our 7 foot tall, bright yellow, duck mascot! He always brings so much joy and laughter to the children, and I love watching children’s faces light up when they meet him!
Q: What is your/Puddle Ducks’ proudest achievement so far?
Although it sounds very cliché, every single day I am so proud! Our swimmers are always reaching new milestones, and the team of people we have are all brilliant!
One of the moments that always comes to my attention, is when one of my swimmers fell into Singleton Lake, in Ashford, when out with her parents one day. She was fully-clothed, something we had practiced in our termly pyjama party weeks, and managed to kick her legs to raise her body to the surface of the water. After, she turned her body and held on to the side of the lake!
In what felt like a lifetime for her parents, this was all completed in a few seconds, and at the time she was only 14 months old! This was an incredible achievement for her, in what could have been a potentially very scary, and tragic, story. When the parents told me at her next lesson, I was so happy that she had remembered the skills we practice all the time in classes. This has always been one of my proudest achievements.
As well as this, we have children as young as 2 years old swimming their 5 metres, beautifully, week after week. Every time this happens, I get very emotional, too!
Q:What are your/Puddle Ducks’ goals for the future?
Our goals will always remain the same; to help babies and children to love swimming, learn to swim beautifully, and respect the water.
Q:If someone was interested in signing up for classes with you, how would they go about it?
You can book in online at www.puddleducks.com or contact our Office directly by calling 01622 236111 or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org