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National Star Teacher, Summer 2019

Congratulations to Beth Van Eker from Puddle Ducks Bristol & Bath!


Beth was nominated by Katherine & Willis and this is what they had to say:

“I would like to nominate Beth for the Star Teacher award. Beth is an excellent teacher, explaining each step and activity clearly and giving individual guidance when needed. She has a very calm demeanour and the enjoyment she gets from teaching is evident in every lesson. Most importantly for me is Beth's desire and patience to get to know the children. She praises them for their own achievements, regardless of how small they may be. My son has always been shy when meeting new people/not seeing people regularly. Beth recognised this immediately and didn't force any interaction, not borrowing him for a demonstration until she was sure my son knew and trusted her. My son has been swimming with Beth for almost a year and I have a little boy who loves swimming and thrives in the lessons. Thank you, Beth!

The nomination was chosen by Beckie Ramsay who campaigns for Doing it for Dylan. This is what she had to say:

“Every time I read this nomination it brings a tear to my eye. The swimming teacher in question obviously goes above and beyond. Beth has a good way of explaining procedures and giving guidance where required. She sounds as though she pushes her little swimmers just enough but not too much. Beth sounds like she loves being a swimming teacher. I think it is fantastic that all efforts are recognised no matter how small and praise is given for every achievement. Beth has brought out the best in her students. Gaining trust, confidence and an understanding of each individual`s needs. Beth has gained children's confidence in the water at the child's pace which truly matters where water is concerned. I love the fact that this little boy now loves his swimming lessons and it seems to be all thanks to this amazing teacher. It sounds as though activities are well planned and having a calming demeanour in the water can only be good for shy or nervous learners and parents alike. I also believe the confidence gained in the water will be taken and used in other areas of life. I would like to say a huge congratulations to this years’ very worthy winner.... well done."

  • More about Beckie Ramsay (BEM)

    More about Beckie Ramsay (BEM)

    "I run a water safety campaign in memory of my first born child Dylan Ramsay who lost his life while swimming in open water with two friends on a hot summer day. Even though Dylan was extremely physically fit, an excellent swimmer and able bodied the cold water proved to much for him to take. He was only in the water for around 20 minutes, so it's important for people to understand the differences between open water and a swimming pool and to also understand the dangers in and around open water and how cold water affects the human body. Dylan was a fantastic swimmer in a swimming pool, however he did not understand the dangers associated with swimming in cold open water. The campaign is called Doing it for Dylan

    I visit schools, colleges, universities, to be honest anywhere that will have me. I have spoken to very small children and I have spoken to adults. To date I have spoken to around 150,000 people and I've educated people about the dangers as well as telling people about Dylan, the amazing young man he was and could have been and how losing him has affected us all as a family.

    I have been involved in some fantastic changes where water safety is concerned. Honestly I would trade it all to have my son back. It's all very bittersweet. It's great that the message is getting out there, I just wish my son had not had to die for people to listen. My son died so others don't have to. 

    Recognising great swimming teachers must continue. We should always love water safely and respect its power. It has been a pleasure to judge this competition and I hope it means a lot to the winner of the award."

    Beckie volunteers with a number of fire and rescue services up and down the country and won Volunteer of the Year from Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service. 

    She has been awarded the Archangel Award from ROSPA (their highest accolade) along with other numerous awards in the 8 years of running the campaign, and recently met HRH Prince William. 

    You can follow Beckie on Twitter, and Doing it for Dylan also is on Twitter and Facebook.

    Learn more
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