Swimming

A Sneak Peek into Our Swim Instructor’s Lives

Our Inspire Mum & Baby team of swim coaches are committed and fun-loving! You might have met some of them in our pool or around our studio. When they are not in the pool, they can be seen helping to clean up around the studio, handling students’ booking requests, chatting (safe-distanced) with students or taking a well-deserved break.  Although our coaches are united in their dedication to a child-led approach, they have different backgrounds, personalities and hobbies. Want to know more about the women behind the face shields and masks? Read on and share some of these interesting snippets with your children too.
Tell our readers about yourself 😉 What do you do at Inspire Mum & Baby?
What are your hobbies? What is your history and relationship to water and swimming?
Linda – Head Coach:

I teach our swim, yoga and fitness classes. I am also the lead therapist, Watsu service provider and doula here at Inspire Mum & Baby. My hobbies are tennis and reading non-fiction books.

I have always loved swimming and water sports. As a child, I had a near drowning incident and that kept me fearful and away from swimming for a while. Thankfully, my uncle saved me and I was alright. When I got involved with water sports in school, such as canoeing and wakeboarding, I just had to regain my confidence. I received the training I needed, and was able to participate in any of the water sports. That is partly why I steer our swim curriculum towards water safety rather than competition – I understand first-hand how important gaining safety skills is. My introduction to teaching swimming came from Birthlight – while going through a baby yoga course, I got to know about Birthlight’s baby swimming approach and was hooked!

How would you describe your teaching style? What is your favourite activity to teach in a swim class?
I teach with a sense of flow – my classes are tailored to the group dynamics and the students in the class. It is student-led so that the student can relate and understand. The structure of my class is flexible that way. It delights me to watch the progression of my students. My favourite activity in class is when the babies do a little rotation in the air. They seem to really enjoy that and it’s a fun challenge for the adults too.

Why is swimming an important skill to have?
Swimming is such an important skill for anyone. For the little ones, it’s a good support for their first 12 months of developmental milestones. For children with special needs, it is an important support for their muscular development and coordination. For everyone, it’s a very important safety skill.

Caileng – Coach & Customer Relations:

I teach our swimming classes for babies, toddlers and kids. My hobbies are roller-blading, diving, and cooking.

I’ve always enjoyed being in the water and diving is one of my favourite activities. While being a diving instructor, I realized I really did enjoy teaching and decided to go into teaching swimming as well. Being in water allows me to feel relaxed and experience a sense of calmness that cannot be compared to anything on land!

How would you describe your teaching style? What is your favourite activity to teach in a swim class?
My teaching approach is to follow the cues of the children, and let them enjoy the different activities in their own ways. Every child is different – they have their own opinions and imagination. Learning is enhanced when the children enjoy the activities that they are doing and look forward to their next swimming class! My favourite activity in class is the “fishes in the water” jumping activity – it’s so much splashy fun.

Why is swimming an important skill to have?
I think that swimming is an important life skill that everyone should be equipped with. We’re constantly surrounded by water and knowing how to swim could save a child’s life during emergencies. It is very rewarding to hold a child’s hand, helping them to overcome their fear of water bit by bit, and eventually seeing them able to swim on their own!

Faye – Coach:

I teach our swimming classes for infants (under 6 months), babies, toddlers and kids, and focus on water comfort and happiness. My hobbies are biking, hiking, edible gardening, dancing with my son and watching crime thrillers with my partner.

The water has always been a sanctuary for me. Since I was little, being in the pool would help take the edge off any grumpiness I might be feeling. My father taught me swimming at the start, and then passed me off to a swim instructor who helped to refine my strokes. Now, as a dance artist, I enjoy exploring movement and dance in the water, having experienced “water contact improvisation” in a regional dance festival.

How would you describe your teaching style? What is your favourite activity to teach in a swim class?
The way I teach is influenced by respectful parenting approaches and Birthlight’s gentle methodology. I have seen time and again the positive effects of listening to children’s cues – they can learn better and faster, and have a longer term love for swimming. Parents/guardians have their own expectations and styles of participation and learning that I stay aware of as well. My favourite activity in class is “tickle face” as it has helped many of my students joyfully overcome their fear of the water.

Why is swimming an important skill to have?
Swimming, to me, is about being able to move efficiently in the water. Whatever the stroke, the ability to swim allows one to safely enjoy being in water.  Also, there are bodies of water everywhere – natural or manmade. Being able to swim helps one have the skills and the confidence to make it to safety. I love that our swim lessons incorporate fun and age-appropriate ways to help children learn safety skills.

Sue – Instructor & Operations Executive:

I teach swimming, yoga and baby fitness. My hobbies are doing yoga, horse riding, skiing, hiking, diving, snorkelling, and baking.

My mother took us swimming every morning before school from around the age of 4. She started this crazy family tradition of swimming in every sea around the world. My girls have grown up loving the water too so when we lived in Singapore while they were very young, I had them in the pool often to try and beat the heat. In Australia we belonged to a Surf Life Saving club, where we taught life saving and surf skills, our girls even got to compete at the Australian titles in First Aid. It was great to be able to teach confidence but also to respect the sea. I hope to swim twice a day into my 80’s, just like my mother. Water confidence to me is a life skill we all should know, and I love to see others enjoy the water as much as I do.

How would you describe your teaching style? What is your favourite activity to teach in a swim class?
I emphasise trust development, confidence building and skills development at the students’ own pace. My favourite activity in class is “sleeping bunnies” – I love that it teaches listening skills, and the suspense of relaxing on your back while waiting to wake up!. In New Zealand, my kids loved swimming through hoops suspended in the water.

Why is swimming an important skill to have?
It is a necessary life skill. You don’t need to have the perfect technique but you would need to  at least have the skills to save yourself. You don’t need to be the fastest swimmer or have the best stroke but having water confidence is the key to safety in water – a wonderful therapeutic playground. The benefits are numerous, from enabling people with disabilities a freedom of movement not possible on land, to gentle exercise for those needing rehabilitation, or simply muscular and coordination development.

RELATED BLOGS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *