Tell me briefly a bit about yourself and Puddleducks?
I live in Whitley Bay and I am the Head of Teaching & Technical at Puddle Ducks North East. I have two children (age 7 and 3) who are also Puddle Ducks veterans!
Puddle Ducks runs baby and pre-school swimming classes for little ones from birth to four years old. We also offer swimming lessons for primary school aged children age four to ten years old and aquanatal classes for Mums to be.
Where is Puddleducks based?
We have seventeen different pools throughout the North East of England.
What was it which made you choose swimming instructing as a career?
I have always been a keen swimmer and when I had my first baby in 2010 I wanted a job with the flexibility to fit around her. I took her to a Puddle Ducks class and loved it so much I decided to re-train and start a whole new career. I left the corporate life soon after and have never looked back.
How do you market Puddleducks?
Mainly through social media and word of mouth. We also network with local parenting groups such as the NCT and the birth and baby network.
What if anything would you say is unique about Puddleducks?
So many things! The ‘Puddle Ducks difference’ as we call it: we have our unique building block programme from birth to independent swimmer and through to technical skill, developed by our very own swimming experts who have dedicated their lives to teaching swimming and ensure that Puddle Ducks remains at the forefront of baby and child swimming.
We teach children to love swimming, respect the water and swim beautifully. Our teachers are trained to the highest standards using programmes that have been specially developed and tested over a period of fifteen years.
We focus on water confidence, not ‘wow’ factors. With bespoke music composed especially for our classes and free catch up lessons so that your little one never misses out, we are more than just a swimming lesson.
How long has Puddleducks been about?
We launched on 1st November 2010
Could you describe a typical day at Puddleducks?
There isn’t one! Every day is different but here’s what I did today (Friday). I dropped my children off at school then headed to the Puddle Ducks office to catch up with Carolyn, our franchisee. We planned some training sessions for our teaching team to develop their skills and to make sure their knowledge is up to date. Then I updated our website and social media accounts before heading to Woodlawn school pool to teach my classes. I taught six classes this afternoon with a mixture of little ones from birth to four year’s old. After packing up the equipment at the pool and saying goodbye to all my customers I headed home to update all my little swimmer’s records. I ticked off everything they had achieved so that their Mums and Dads could order their badges and certificates for them. Finally, I checked and responded to all my e-mails before finishing in time for tea!
What do you enjoy most about the job you do?
The fact that it doesn’t feel like work. I have taught hundreds of little swimmers over the years and I love watching them grow and progress from nervous toddlers into graceful, club level swimmers. I am very lucky to love what I do – not a lot of people can say that!
What do you find the most challenging thing about your job?
Probably the same thing as any working Mum – trying to fit everything in and achieve a work life balance. Life is always hectic but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How would you describe Puddleducks in 3 words?
Passionate, child-led and unique
Where would you like to be in 5 years?
Watching my first swimmers compete for team GB 😉