Above: Gail Rickets with Jodie Higham(4) who has recently completed her one mile distance swim. Photo by dave Bates

Its been a great few months at Gail Ricketts www.swim-baby.co.uk swim school in Southport.

Jodie Higham only 4 yrs old has recently completed her one mile distance swim. Jodie has been at Gail’s swim school for about a year and a half and has made amazing progress in that time.  When Jodie was only 3 yrs old she was one of the first children at that age to swim a 1/4 of a mile and so superbly went on to swim her half mile and mile a few months later.

Jodie had her mum and dad, Jenny and Matt and baby brother Jack all cheering her on during her big mile swim.  Gail tells us ‘We all had tears in our eyes as Jodie finished her last length and completed the mile. Jodie understood it was a really massive achievement for a girl of her age.  She swam lovely backstroke and breaststroke and had no assistance at all during her swim.  We are all very proud of her.’

ots-southport-pryia-rohanAbove: Pryia and Rohan

There’s several other super baby swimmers in Gail’s classes, as Rohan 3 yrs old swam 1/4 of a mile in June along with his sister Pryia who swam together however Pryia went on to complete her one mile swim.

Lucy Eccles, Harriet Henderson, Hanna Grundy, and Callum Dumbavin all swam their one mile distance swim too their ages are between 5 and 6 yrs old.  Callum Dumbavin had only been with Gail for 5 months when he completed his one mile swim. James Charters swam his half mile and Dylan only begun lessons in Easter as a non swimmer and he gained his 1/2 mile award just 3 months later in addistion to Dylan learning breaststroke, backstroke and front crawl!

ots-southport-daisymae-2mileAbove: Daisymae Photo by dave Bates

Daisymae also only had two months of lessons when Daisymae swam a whopping 2 miles in one go! All the children took part in training for their big distance swims.

We at OTS have invited Gail to write a monthly blog for us as we feel the stories and triumphs of the children and parents at Gail’s swim school will be amazing for our readers.  We can see Gail has a certain special way with the children to help them gain these massive awards.

Gail had this to say about our invitation….

“I am thrilled and very excited to be writing for OTS its a very exciting time for me and the children at my swim school.

I often get told stories of how learning to swim has given the children so much confidence in other areas of their life and how it has improved the lives of the whole family.

For example I will introduce you to Thomas Shatwell, a very scared, nervous and screaming with fear 3 1/2 yr old who came on my four day VIP course, so I had him for only four hours.

His Mum Karen was in despair worried about him as she couldn’t get him near the shower at  home, hair washing was a nightmare and really stressful for both mum and child.  When Karen tried to take him swimming he would go blue with screaming and tears; and have the strangle hold around Karen’s neck, all so stressful and upsetting for them both.  Karen had given up and came to myself for help and advice.

I will tell you how that went and I have some great photos of Thomas of course.  I am sure I will have many other stories and achievements from my super baby swimmers to tell everyone about.


Photo by dave Bates

For swimming lesson information you can contact Gail, Tel: 07449135450

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