Winchester Mum Splashes Down!


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winchester mum splashes down

Winchester mum splashes down in the city through the acquisition of ‘Duckling Dives’.

Winchester-based owner and managing director at Baby Paddlers – Laura Skilton – has been looking to expand in her home town for some time. Baby Paddlers is dedicated to teaching children from 0 – 5 years old to swim in a small, calm environment, and is part of the STA Star Swim Schools Programme. The school is well established in Devon, Dorset and the New Forest.

winchester mum splashes down

Winchester Mum Splashes Down – The ‘Calming’ Effect

Laura told Winchester Today more about that ‘calming’ effect: “At Baby Paddlers we believe that teaching a child to swim isn’t just about showing them how to float, breathe and move in the water. More importantly it’s also about building their trust in the people teaching them, and their confidence in their own abilities”

Laura’s belief is that all children should be able to swim independently by the time they start school: “If a child is taught to swim in a nurturing and supportive environment it can have a really positive impact on how they see the world.”

As well as running the swimming school and being an STA qualified children’s swimming teacher, Laura is a mum of two and chair of the Winchester NCT branch. It is this comprehensive experience of young children and their needs that gives her a passionate, holistic approach to teaching swimming.  “I was frustrated that there was a lack of appropriate teaching for pre-school children. So often children from 3 to 5 years old are being taught in big, echoing swimming pools, with mum and dad far away in galleries. This can intimidate children and put them off.

“I am thrilled that we are going to be able to offer our approach to older children as well as babies and toddlers in Winchester, in a welcoming environment with parents close. We are so excited to be here.”

The company that has been acquired has no problem with the deal either. Sara Neal set up Duckling Dives, and is delighted to be passing on her much-loved business to someone with such passion: “I know that Laura shares my dedication to teaching babies and toddlers the wonderful gift of water confidence. I wish her and the newly expanded Baby Paddlers all the very best for the future.”

The new Winchester lessons will be offered in Norton Park, Sutton Scotney and in the warm waters of hydrotherapy pools at Osborne school and Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

Go to Baby Paddlers for more details and to book.

For more information on the STA Star Swim Programme