Blog :: Archive for March 2011
For the last two years, Puddle Ducks has been a finalist in the What's On 4 Little Ones Awards. We'd love to be a finalist again in 2011, and perhaps...maybe...whisper... a winner?!!
Do you love your classes? Your teacher?
Could you spend 10 seconds voting - please?
Here's the link: Vote For Puddle Ducks - you'll find us in categories 2 and 3
Thank you SO much from all of us x x
Posted by Tracy on Thursday, 31st March 2011
A week or so ago, I posted a video on Facebook by Judi Dench and Daniel Craig highlighting inequalities that still existed for women. Interestingly, the first comment was by a man asking how many men were on our books?
Actually, there are not very many – but perhaps more than you would have thought. And we think they are all great! I asked Kerry Parr (Chester Franchisor), Ali Beckman (Technical Director) and Colin Farrow (photographer and teacher) what their thoughts were on male teachers in Puddle Ducks.
Over the next few days, I’ll post their responses. Here are some comments from Ali, our technical director:
You trained Ryan and Colin on the same training course - your first with male How did this change the course dynamics?
This course was very different to ones we have run in the past and the group seem to bond much quicker. I firmly believe it is because the men injected humour into the course very early on!
This is no disrespect to any of our previous candidates, but there was a very noticeable difference in the way they dealt with the pressures of the course.
Mothers are still the main primary carers and therefore tend to worry about the usual home routine and whether their husband/parent/carer is coping. This often adds to the stress they feel during an intensive training week. The men didn't seem to worry about home.
Do you think men can be as good a teacher as women, or as empathetic?
Teaching swimming at Puddle Ducks is different to any other baby swimming I have come across and often the teacher can become a sounding board. My only concern with male teachers was how they would be able to empathise if, for example, a mum became tearful because she had been up all night struggling to breastfeed!!
After spending a week with two male teachers I now realise that they can be just as supportive. They were extremely understanding with parents whose children were struggling during a lesson and I was thrilled to hear them asking questions like “is he good for you?” and “does he sleep well?” – not swimming related questions but exactly the same questions our female teachers ask to start to build on the teacher-parent relationship!
In what ways does having men in the team improve our Puddle Ducks network?
I know that the relaxed and confident attitude demonstrated on the course has already been transferred to the pool and they deliver excellent lessons. Many children respond better to male teachers and having the option in a franchise will only strengthen the business.
Posted by Tracy on Friday, 25th March 2011
My I-Phone has spent a week recovering from constantly being picked up and logged into Twitter for a full seven days. The reason? It was the British Gas National Swimming Championships in Manchester.
As well as following ‘British Swimming’ on Twitter, I was also following some great swimmers, past and present, who were involved in the championships, either competing or commentating/reporting. These included Rebecca Adlington, Keri-Anne Payne, Liam Tancock, Steven Parry and Karen Pickering. All kept me up to date with results, dramas and new faces to watch out for.
Many of the swimmers are already household names thanks to their success in the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The likes of Keri-Anne Payne, Rebecca Adlington, Francesca Halsall, Ellen Gandy, Gemma Spofforth, Elizabeth Simmonds, Ross Davenport, Simon Burnett, James Goddard, Liam Tancock, David Davies and many more.
But it’s the new blood starting to come through that gets me excited. Some are babies (well, compared to me!) but at 15 and 16 years of age they are swimming against these superstars and in some cases, keeping up and even beating them!
And of course they all started somewhere. Whether it was with school lessons, local recreation or private swimming clubs. Rebecca Adlington started swimming at the age of seven and just look at her now. She is Great Britain’s most successful Olympic swimmer in 100 years!! We adore Rebecca - such an amazing inspiration to all young swimmers.
Age seven... this is what excites me. At Puddle Ducks some of our swimmers have been with us since they were a few weeks old. By the time they reach Dabblers at the age of three or four they are already swimming 5m, 10m and 25m and more importantly they are doing it the Puddle Ducks way, with style and grace. We hope this will prove to stand them in good stead for lifetime of swimming - and just perhaps - competetive swimming too.
With this background, this amazing start in the water, do we have some potential Rebecca Adlington’s and Liam Tancock’s out there? Possibly so! What a proud moment it would be for the teachers at Puddle Ducks if one of our swimmers appeared on the starting blocks in one of these great competitions in the future.
I look forward to that day and only hope you remember us (and keep us informed of your successes) at Puddle Ducks - because this is where it all started!
Posted by Ali on Monday, 21st March 2011
I just LOVE my first visit to a new franchise. Seeing their office, and visiting them at the pool - it's like Christmas and first day of school all rolled into one!
Last week, Jo and I were lucky enough to visit Kate in Wonderful Worcester for a couple of days. What an amazing city! I am really looking forward to going back and spending a bit more time there.
Kate launched her business at the beginning of 2011, having been a solicitor for years prior to "taking the plunge". You could tell from the smile on her face that she's certainly pleased with that career move! And from the huge smiles on her little boy's face when he joined us later in the day, you could tell he is too!
Kate has exciting plans for her area and is absolutely loving introducing customers to our fabulous Puddle Ducks programme. On day two we visited the quite amazing Malvern College to watch some classes.
Malvern college has a first class sports facility that has only very recently been refurbished. The huge pool, which Kate has all to herself, has windows along the length of it overlooking the hills. Wouldn't you just love to go swimming there every week?!!
Thank you Kate for a wonderful visit. We loved being there are and looking forward to watching you grow Puddle Ducks over the coming months.
Posted by Tracy on Wednesday, 16th March 2011