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SWIMMING

'teaching you to teach your baby to swim' – it creates an amazing bond and builds confidence in them both.” For some parents, the thought of putting their brand new baby in a pool might be daunting, but Paul is quick to point out that, far from being dangerous, teaching your child to swim might just end up saving their life. “A major reason people get into difficulty when they fall into water is the shock. A key skill we practice is bringing babies into the water on their side, so that this sensation no longer feels strange or takes them by surprise, meaning that in an emergency situation they are more likely to be able to use the skills they have learned to keep themselves safe. As they get older we progress into moving to a place of safety and climbing out. We have numerous stories from families whose little ones have saved themselves in this way.”

LIFELONG BENEFITS Lessons have been designed to include songs and games, often ones that babies and parents will be familiar with. Babies can start swimming from as young as one day old, but usually begin around six weeks. While babies have natural reflexes for a short time after birth that prevent water from entering their lungs, the programme trains them to control their breathing before the reflex is stimulated, ensuring they learn lifelong skills. As well as the very obvious safety benefits, Paul explains that there are many other important reasons to begin swimming lessons at such a young age.

 Water Babies has 66 franchises internationally and now plans to build dedicated swim centres across the UK and beyond, with the first one opening in China

46 Issue 128  November/December 2016

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Sports Management November/December 2016 issue 128  

Sports Management August 2016 issue 125 Sports Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global sports faci...

Sports Management November/December 2016 issue 128  

Sports Management August 2016 issue 125 Sports Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global sports faci...