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Owner & Director, Swim Academy for Babies Ltd
I have a background in Foreign Languages and have worked in a variety of different fields including Customs & Immigration Translator & Interpreter, Police Interpreter, Data Management, Marketing Manager, Accounts, Travel Brochure Designer and at one point, a Travel Writer (with several specialist travel articles published over the years). Despite a wealth of experience in different areas, I was not satisfied with the day to day humdrum and repetition of a “normal” working life, and the expectation that once our children are born we have a limited time with them before they start nursery and we hop back on the treadmill. I was desperate to find a more flexible career but, in Cornwall, with limited employment opportunities and travel writing scuppered by the responsibility of two small children, it all seemed a rather far off pipe dream.
I grew up around water and have always been passionate about swimming, and swam competitively in the past. When my sons were born I realised the importance of teaching my own children to be water safe, especially living in Cornwall and taking regular trips to see family in coastal Portugal, so I set about teaching them to swim as soon as possible. It was challenging as there was very little available, and the classes I could find simply didn’t feel “right”.
I was overjoyed when in mid 2007 I discovered there was a little known specialist swimming school in Cornwall. I managed to book my youngest into classes but was devastated when I discovered they were soon coming to an end. Swim Academy for Babies as it was, closed in November 2007.
I was determined that Swim Academy for Babies would live on and change lives throughout the county, so I bought the business in December 2007. In March 2008, when my first 2 children were just 2 & 3 years old, after a period of extremely intense training with Amanda Walker (Birthlight) & Emie Kitson (Aqualight) as well as training with the STA and the RLSS, I opened a brand new and updated version of Swim Academy for Babies. The best part was that it worked completely around my little boys and their nursery days and times! I now have 4 children and I am home for them all to see them off to school in the morning and to welcome them home at the end of their day. I am very lucky indeed.
I am proud to say that we are now a team of 12 mothers. Some are now running entire sections of Swim Academy for Babies on their own under License, some are established Tutors and others are just starting their journey with us. My mission now is not only to teach babies & their parents about the magic of water, but also to share the pleasure of a balanced work and family life, of having proper family time whilst being lucky enough to have the most satisfying career in the world.
“I leave every class smiling. It has certainly changed my life and I hope it will change the lives of all the parents and babies who come through our Academy. These amazing babies will learn skills that they will thank you for forever. My youngest son has been swimming with Swim Academy for Babies since he was 9 days old and he is already a true water baby. It really is pure magic.” Sarah Burnett.