From complete beginner to mile swimmer in just six months, six-year old Laila Shaikh has rapidly progressed to complete the full set of national Distance Swimming Awards, all thanks to her school swimming lessons.
The Year 1 pupil from Bradford Girls’ Grammar School only started attending school swimming lessons at the beginning of September 2014, but was quick to impress her teachers as she swiftly mastered the first stages of learning to swim and signed up to start the ASA Rainbow Programme.
Designed to complement each of the stages of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework, the Programme starts with an emphasis on water confidence and the ability to cover the shorter distances, and steadily progresses to more of a focus on stroke improvement and increasing stamina.
The completion of each distance is recognised with the award of a badge and certificate, which not only marks the progress of the swimmer’s development, but provides the motivation to move to the next award.
This was the case for Laila who, by the end of September, was thrilled to receive her first Rainbow Distance Award with a 5 metre swim (completed wearing armbands) and then quickly set her sights on obtaining the next badge.
Now six months on, this determined young swimmer has ditched the arm bands, upped the distance and confidently completed a 64 length swim to earn the final 1 mile ASA Rainbow Distance Award.
Mrs Grant, the school’s ASA swimming coach said: “This is a remarkable achievement for such a young swimmer, but from the very first lesson Laila showed real promise. She is a natural swimmer and has already developed a beautiful stroke.”