September Blog: The Water Whisperer Gail Rickett’s Success Continues

ots southport gail September swimming blog

Photos by Dave Bates

Following on from my ‘Tears and Tantrums’ blog, I am very pleased to tell you that Thomas who was featured in it, was seen jumping in the pool from a standing up postion and swimming across the pool from Nana to Granddad on his family holiday.  I was so pleased to see this it was so wonderful seeing him so happy in the water.

If your child cannot swim or is scared of the water I kindly suggest you start taking them to the pool way before your holiday to help get them used to the water so your holiday is not upset with tears and tantrums.  If you find its a struggle then they will probably need the help of a professional swimming teacher.

Now about Eve, Eve is a little sweet girl who took part in one of this summers Learn to Swim or Improve courses.  Her mum Nicola enrolled Eve on the course as Eve was worrying about her friends swimming party comming up, as she would not only have to wear armbands but also she would be very scared of the water and fun would be the last thing on her mind!   Eve has a younger sister called Poppy who also joined the course.

When Eve first started she just managed a scramble across the pool with her armbands on and she had the giraffe look going on, which is where a child stretches their neck trying to reaching the ceiling in the hope it will keep the water out of their face.  But it doesn’t it just gives you neck ache.


But it doesn’t it just gives you neck ac  You can see by the photo how much she is trying to keep that water off her face.

However, it wasn’t long before I convinced Eve she was a secret super swimming hero and she was off, swimming up and down the pool without her armbands on. Eve managed to grasp two strokes really quickly and swam 30 meters of backstroke and 60 meters of breaststroke.   I was really happy for her knowing she will have fun now at her swimming party.

Here is Eve on her back without her armbands on.ots-eve-back

Her little sister Poppy did really well swimming a few meters also by herself.  They both managed to take part in the water saftey skills which was jumping in the deep end and safely getting out by themselves.  They where very brave to do this as they do know the deep end is deep.

Here they both are with their mum Nicola talking about what they have just done you can see they are all very happy with their achievements.  Eves big swim party is this Saturday; I feel she is very well prepared and will now have a fantastic time with her friends.ots-eve-poppy-mum

A little tip to get your child moving around in the water is to ‘race them’ to the other side of the pool, just like you would run on the land. Tell your child to ‘run run run’ and mimic your arms running so they get it.  Don’t worry what their arms are doing at this point try and just get them to ‘run’ their legs for now.  If they are wobbly try to guide them and put them in a rubber ring and ask them to hold the ring and run their legs.  This usually works and you can progress from there to getting them to lift their legs up to splashing position behind them.

Try not to hold them out of the water, as it doesnt help as they are then flying and not swimming!

My second Learn to Swim or Improve course I ran this summer, well the children on it blew me away with the distances they swam, so I wanted to give them a little mention.  John-Paul swam 1/2 a mile which was an all time record on an intense weeks course.   John-Paul managed this massive swim after just 7 days of swimming lessons having an hour a day.  He had been on one course with me previous to this, however the boost he got from the course was amazing.

Two other boys who stated as total non swimmers swam 1/4 of a mile, a forth boy was due to swim his 1/4 of a mile but was a little late to start however he swam 200 meters.  So four out of six children on the course swam a massive distance and the other two children still managed to swim a smaller distance! Therefore I couldn’t be happier with these results for the parents and children!

ots southport gail September swimming blog
Above: Gail with John-Paul and his half a mile trophy.

In my next blog I will tell you about a little boy called Herbie I have just met, who is still two years old who is having lessons with me,  I will tell you just how far he swam on his third private 1/2 hour class all by himself, again records were broken!

I am on 07449135450  if you have any questions or would like to know about the courses.
My next Learn to Swim or Improve is in October half term.
I do hope you will join me on Facebook at

Thanks for reading, Regards Gail

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