Swimming instructor from Bishop's Cleeve celebrates 10 years
FOR a decade, swimming instructor Tracy Murphy has been helping children to conquer the water.
The 39-year-old from Bishop’s Cleeve has celebrated her 10th anniversary of teaching children who are disabled or afraid of the water to take the plunge.
More than 180 people whose lives have been changed by Tracy gathered at the King’s Head in Bishop’s Cleeve last weekend for the anniversary.
Tracy said: “It was very touching to see so many people there.
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“It’s been a great adventure, and I hope to be able to help more children in the future.”
The pregnant mother-of-one used to be a nanny on call around Cheltenham, before deciding to start her one-on-one swimming classes for children.
Inspired by her father, who was also a swimming coach, she received her teaching qualifications in 2003 and started the classes.
“I was a strong swimmer, and dad was an inspiration for me,” she added. “Just knowing that children have learned to conquer their fear of water or learn how to swim here just keeps me going.
“Some of them really progress on to greater things, like going to competitions.
“It’s great when you see how much they enjoy it and it’s something I am very thankful for.”
After establishing herself at Tewkesbury Park Hotel, she moved on to teach at Cheltenham Park Hotel and the Thistle Hotel in Cheltenham as well.
“I was really surprised by how much in demand the lessons were,” she said.
“There are a lot of children who might be shy learning in a class or might have problems learning how to swim, but I want to be able to help them.”
And one of her students, six-year-old Jacob Wood, is reaping the rewards of working with Tracy.
Jacob was born without all of his left arm, but has taken to the water seamlessly, completing his silver award last week.