Aquatots Brews Up For Macmillan’s World Biggest Coffee Morning

Aquatots, Macmillan, Cake and surprise visitor Peppa Pig!

Aquatots swimmer Olivia feeding Peppa Pig

Coffee, Cake, Bunting and Balloons, we had them ready…well nearly all ready – I was still icing my cake 10 minutes before we opened our doors on Friday 26th September for our Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Research

Our managing director Fiona Munt-Whittle

The sun was shining, the kettle was boiled and the Aquatots team had home-baked a range of goodies to serve up but would anyone come?! This was our first charity event for Macmillan and knowing that we were just one of thousands of Coffee Mornings taking place throughout the UK we were a little concerned that we would be left with a lot of cake if nobody arrived (although we weren’t that distressed at the idea of having to eat it!). We need not have worried though because our first visitor arrived just after 10am and then they just kept coming!

                 Eating cakeHome-baked cakes from the Aquatots team

Alongside the coffee and cake donations we had decided to optimise the opportunity of raising valuable funds for Macmillan and so we adapted the “Guess The 100’s and 1000’s On The Cake” sweepstake game we had been provided. This allowed our Aquatots teachers to take them poolside at all of our lessons leading up to the Coffee Morning giving all the parents that could not make it on the day the chance to donate and play. In addition we created a prize draw and were very fortunate to be given some generous donations from local Gloucestershire businesses – these included:

£50 meal voucher from Tewkesbury Park Hotel
Luxurious facial from Leigh’s Therapies
24 hours in a VW ‘Glampervan’ from Comfy Campers
Hair voucher from Emma Lawson’s Ell Hair Studio in Tewkesbury
Exercises classes from Tred Training
Body lotion from Neals Yard

Together we raised a whopping £285.45 for Macmillan and had such a successful morning that we plan to make this an annual event. Thank you to all that made this possible.

Fiona Munt-Whittle
Aquatots Managing Director

Swimming Supports Learning in Infants

It was long time coming but thanks to Professor Robyn Jorgensen, Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia, The Kids Alive Swim Program and Swim Australia we now have the results of a four year study that determines that children that participate in early years swimming “achieve a wide range of skills earlier than the normal population”. We are not just talking a few weeks ahead as in some developmental areas children were 20 MONTHS ahead of their expected milestones!

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The Benefits Of Starting Babies Swimming Early

The Benefits Of Starting Babies Swimming Early

Why should children be introduced to swimming when they are babies?

Every parent is protective of their child(ren) and only want what is best for them – quite often I get asked “Why should I start my baby swimming early?” Fortunately I find this one very easy to answer!

Swimming is hugely beneficial to health, development and fitness so getting in the water at any age is a bonus but to take full advantage of babies mammalian dive reflex (which stops water getting into a baby’s lungs) its best to get them in the water and enjoying swimming before they are six months old.

Childhood obesity is on the rise and encouraging swimming from a young age means that not only are they less likely to develop a fear of water they are also opening a door to an active lifestyle. Starting swimming early means your baby is getting a complete low impact work-out during each session, this means that no stress is being put on joints yet their heart and lungs are getting a good work out whilst their brains are getting a developmental helping hand too – don’t forget that it’s also beneficial to parents too who will be burning a few calories whilst in the pool!

Swimming from an early age encourages bonding between the baby and its parent as well as giving the opportunity to interact socially with the other children and instructor in a relaxed environment. It also increases cognitive abilities – teaching a baby to blow bubbles in the water, kick their legs and reach for the side encourages concentration and willpower as well as confidence, all of these are beneficial in other areas of their lives as they grow and are a great foundation for when they start school.

Putting aside all the health, well-being and social benefits of infant swimming let’s look at swimming for safety!* Drowning is the third biggest cause of death in children under 5 – teaching a child to be calm, get to the side and to hold on/get out is essential to young children and gives them survival skills should the unthinkable happen.

Last but definitely not least – swimming aids better sleeping patterns which I’m sure most parents of young children would welcome with open arms 

Check out our video of some of our happy little swimmers here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXl5DqXJOqg

Thanks for reading

Fiona Munt-Whittle
Managing Director and Senior Swim Instructor at Aquatots Swimming Ltd.

*Swimming lessons are not a substitute for adult supervision and children should always be fully supervised whilst in water.