Babies take the plunge at Puddle Ducks swimming classes

Oliver Abbott takes a dip at the Puiddle Ducks class.
Oliver Abbott takes a dip at the Puiddle Ducks class.

CUTE little ducklings learning to swim as part of a new town programme took the plunge in their pyjamas.

The youngsters from the Puddle Ducks swim classes, which take place at the pools at High Tunstall School, in Elwick Road, and Manor College of Technology pool, in Owton Manor Lane, moved onto the next stage of their aquatic development.

Babies and parents in action at a Puddle Ducks class.

Babies and parents in action at a Puddle Ducks class.

The babies and their parents took part in a safety and life-saving week, where they all swam in their pyjamas, mimicking falling into water fully clothed.

Alison Abbott, who opened the swimming school after being inspired by her own water tot Oliver, said the sessions proved popular and as well as having a serious undertone, were lots of fun to boot.

Alison, 30, who grew up on the Fens in Hartlepool and now lives on a farm in Castle Eden, on the outskirts of town, said: “We had a very successful PJ week at Puddle Ducks, where all our children and parents came in pyjamas to feel the difference of being in water with clothes on, and how much harder it is to swim in clothes.

“We had over 60 people all take part in our safety week and had some great feedback from them.”

We did it to bring awareness and show the importance of being safe around water.

Alison Abbott, owner, Puddle Ducks

She added: “We did it to bring awareness and show the importance of being safe around water.

“We completed lots of activities such as jumping in, and getting out of danger, and moving away from danger in the water.

“We had lots of fun doing this as well as learning lots of new skills.”

Babies aged from four week up to five years old attended the classes.

Babies and parents in action at a Puddle Ducks class.

Babies and parents in action at a Puddle Ducks class.

Alison first started swimming with her baby son when he was just two weeks old. The youngster, now 17 months, took to it so well that it became a regular hobby of theirs.

After initially enjoying the feeling of just floating in the water, Oliver had the experience of going underwater when he was six weeks old. By the time he was three months he could hold onto the side of the pool himself. All of the little watery milestones spurred Alison on to open the swimming school in January, with the support of her family – husband Christopher Abbott, 35, mum Maureen Fox, 63, and dad Ken Fox, 66.

Alison’s sessions cost £12 for half an hour with classes called floaties, splashers, kickers and little dippers.

Puddle Ducks mums and babies in action.

Puddle Ducks mums and babies in action.