Leah is swimming record-breaker

STEPHEN PULLINGER A regular at the pool from the age of four months, it is perhaps little wonder that Leah Robbins has become a record-breaking water-baby.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

A regular at the pool from the age of four months, it is perhaps little wonder that Leah Robbins has become a record-breaking water-baby.

Proud mum Kay Masters, of Hingley Close, Gorleston, was yesterday celebrating the fact her two-year-old has apparently entered the record books by becoming the youngest child in Britain to be awarded a certificate for swimming 5m unaided.

And Jane Tomlinson, her teacher at the Kingfisher Holiday Park pool in Burgh Castle, near Yarmouth, was quick to describe her as an "absolute natural who has never been afraid to go straight in the water".

"I have been a swimming teacher for 17 years and Leah is by far the youngest I have had start swimming in that time. I am not aware of anyone else in the country achieving their 5m certificate at such a young age," she said.

Leah's love affair with the water began when her brother Luke started swimming lessons with Mrs Tomlinson at the age of four and she watched him from her poolside playpen.

Most Read

Ms Masters, 26, said: "When my partner Jason bought a Broads cruiser for the family we decided it was important to start Luke swimming and I saw an advert for Jane's Dolphin Swim School."

She quickly signed up herself too, as a helper, and that is how Leah became introduced to the water at such a tender age.

"The youngest age for starting is normally four, but I began taking Leah in the water before and after lessons. Whereas Luke has always been a bit wary, she has never been scared of the water - even in the bath at home she is putting her head under the water and blowing bubbles," she said.

Leah has started swimming properly in the past six months, using a doggy paddle stroke, helped by Mrs Tomlinson's method of supporting children using her hands under their body.

Ms Masters said: "Luke has just achieved his mile certificate, swimming the distance in an hour, and Leah has already said she is aiming for that herself - although I think a 10m certificate is her realistic next step."

"I bring Leah to the pool at least once a week. She enjoys it so much I am sure she will carry on when she is older," she said.

And in the meantime, the couple are getting ready to unleash their next star - with three-month-old son Rhys ready to take his first dip in the pool in the next week.