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Mum of four brings 20 years of specialist expertise to local swim school

Mum of four brings 20 years of specialist expertise to local swim school

47-year-old Tandy Nel has joined local swim school, Water Babies Bucks and Beds, as a new-born, toddler and pre-schooler swimming teacher. Originally from South Africa, Tandy is a specialist in teaching children with varying disabilities and educational needs. The hard-working Mum of four is determined to bring her years of experience to children living with disabilities in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.

“I’ve worked with little ones with Asperger's, Down's syndrome, ADHD and children with sight or hearing loss. I take great pride in supporting all children to learn – no matter their personal circumstances. Swimming is such an important life skill and something I believe all children should be introduced to. Swimming is one of the best gifts a parent can give a child – it teaches them to be independent and respectful of the water. After over twenty years in the field, I continue to feel just as passionately about teaching because, as well as being a crucial factor of a child’s development, I really enjoy it!”

As well as gaining internationally recognised teaching qualifications from Swimming South Africa, Tandy trained with one of the most famous infant swimming teachers in the world – Nel White. She also has a diploma in Child Psychology from the University of South Africa and, alongside teaching little ones to swim, has taught in pre-schools whilst studying for further qualifications in early child development. In the many years that Tandy has been teaching, her skills have benefitted hundreds of families – she even admits she’s lost count of the exact number of little ones she’s taught.

“I must have taught well over a thousand children in the 20 years that I’ve been teaching! The time has flown past because I take so much joy out of what I do. I’m really happy that I’m able to continue with my love of teaching children to swim – it’s all that I know and something I feel very passionately about. In all honesty, sometimes I can’t quite believe I get to call this a job!”

Tandy now teaches just a few miles from her new home, in Walnut Tree, in pools at Milton Keynes University Hospital and the Holiday Inn on Saxon Gate West.

“I’ve been teaching with Water Babies for a little while now and I really enjoy it. I’ve even enrolled my three-year-old daughter and swim with her every week! I take quite a holistic approach when it comes to swimming. As a Water Babies teacher, we guide the little ones along and support with their development but, essentially, they’ll develop the skills as and when they’re ready.  I plan to continue with my career and work with Tamsin and the team for as long as they’ll have me!”

Tamsin, who has owned Water Babies Bucks and Beds for almost 15 years, was proud to add Tandy to her existing Milton Keynes teaching team.

“Tandy fits so well into the team and has taken to the Water Babies teaching programme like a duck to water – pardon the pun! She’s a joy to have around and has brought so much expertise to the team. The families who swim with her think she’s just as lovely as we do and I’m so pleased to hear that she plans to teach with us for the long term.”

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