Our new water tutors in training

Birthlight would like to welcome five new water tutors in training, Nicole in Austria, Stalo in Cyprus, Gill in Northern Ireland and Julie and Marion from the UK. Marion is already a Birthlight perinatal and baby yoga tutor and is moving into the water too. We are delighted they are all joining the baby swimming team and we look forward to begining this journey together.


Nicole Sauseng - Austria

My name is Nicole Sauseng and I live in Trumau in Austria. Five years ago I founded my own swimming school called Aquababy.

I started babyswimming with my kids Julian and Gabriel about 10 years ago. As I made my experiences as a babyswimming mother I decided to deepen my knowledge. So I started to make several national and international teacher training courses. I also attended national and international conferences. I lead some teacher training courses here in Austria. In Switzerland I learned to work with singing bowls in water with adults as well as with babies and older children.

I created two workshops in water. One is called “Aqua Fun4Kids” which is an aquatic playground with psycho motoric background and the second workshop is called “Aqua Move&Sound” which is a connection between music and water. “Aqua Move&Sound” I introduced at the Aquapäd (German speaking conference) in 2014. I also spoke about singing bowls in water at this conference.

In 2015 I got to know Shawn Tomlinson at a conference in Austria as she spoke about Birthlight. I was fascinated and started collecting informations about Birthlight. In February 2016 I decided to do the babyswimming teacher training course in Norwich with Shawn as my tutor. During this course I had the inner feeling of coming home in aquatic environment.

During coursework my team got in contact with this gentle approach. The interest in Birthlight rose.  In October 2016 I did the teacher training course for toddlers and special needs children also in Norwich with Shawn. The experiences I made there are a big treasure.

In November 2016 I was a speaker at the Aquapäd again and I spoke about my way of becoming a Birthlight teacher. 

In May 2017 I organized the first Birthlight babyswimming teacher training course in Austria. I translated the babyswimming manual into German. Shawn lead this teacher training course in Austria. I´m thankful that Shawn shared her incredible knowledge with us. We spent a wonderful time together in Austria and Shawn suggested to promote myself for tutor training and so I´m looking forward to my new assignment.


Stalo Tritti - Cyprus

My name is Stalo Tritti and I come from Cyprus. I have my own 25m indoors facility in Cyprus, Trittis Sports & Leisure Centre, where in June we held the first birthlight baby swimming training in Cyprus with Shawn Tomlinson and Kiki Katsikari.

Almost 3 years ago I met Shawn in Athens attending my baby swimming level 1 and being so ecstatic with the whole procedure I have asked her what it takes to become a tutor. She replied a lot of hard work. Listening to her words, Ι continued my training with baby swimming level 2 and later the special baby swimming.

Being a swimmer and a tennis player I got the opportunity to have a university  scholarship in USA for completing my degree in bachelors of science in physical education and a minor in marketing and management. During my studies I had the opportunity to meet the baby swimming world and continue my education in Australia by Autswim swimming teacher certification and the baby swimming training with  WABC World Aquatic Babies and Children Network. I have being teaching infant and toddler swimming for the last 21 years and meeting Shawn I got inspired and enthusiastic with birthlight  philosophy and methods of teaching.
Being an aqua instructor also for the last 20 years I have trained by hydrorider Italy, becoming aqua bike specialist and being a member of AEA aquatic exercise association in the states  I have done different courses for teaching aqua trampoline, hydrofit cuffs aqua steps and dubbells which I have the opportunity to teach at my own facility.


Gill Bann - Northern Ireland

I have been teaching in my profession as a swimming teacher for many years now. I have been practising in yoga for pleasure for years too. When I turned 50, my present for myself was to take part in an 18 month yoga course, purely to self-improve! Over this time, my friends noticed I was bringing a lot of the elements of yoga into my swim classes, and the skills complemented each other.

Birthlight was that beacon of light that I was looking for! I went over to England to do my first training course, ‘Baby Swimming Level 1’, with Francoise Barbira Freedman. She just blew me away. The balance, respect and belief in equality for all human beings combined with the awareness of promoting self-nurture, all in a holistic centred environment, just made sense to me.

I couldn’t wait to put my knowledge into practise. I think I drove my bosses so mad they gave me the pool time just to shut me up! I developed my beloved ‘Baby Bubbles’ classes and my training was put to work. I kept adding to my methodology with Birthlight, piece by piece.

My journey so far with Birthlight has been truly life changing and I absolutely love it. I’ve enjoyed all levels, from Baby Swimming, the nurturing balance of Aqua Natal and Postnatal Yoga; to the latest fantastic Motherhood Yoga at Birthlight on Tour - where I had my first experience teaching in an outdoor pool. I have had quite an experience with them and I look forward to contributing and developing both myself and students within the Birthlight family.


Julie Kamara - UK

Water has always been a large part of my life; I was brought up near the coast and often swam in the sea whenever possible. As a mother, I am now also delighted that all my children have also inherited the same love and joy of being in the water. When my eldest daughter was 12 months old, we travelled together extensively throughout SE Asia and often swam together in the sea or in pools if available.  Amelia now shares the same passion for water, she is a successful competitive swimmer and plays in a local water polo team.


A little later in life, I discovered the Birthlight Swimming method when I enrolled my young twin girls in local Birthlight classes. Attending the classes was life changing for me, I felt that I had been brought ‘home’ by this method of teaching and fully embraced its principles both in the water and on land.  As a result, I decided to train as Birthlight Swimming Teacher and have not looked back since.  

I now run my own swim school – Funky Fish, whose foundation lies with using the holistic approach not only to aquatic practices but extends through to the parent and child relationships, as taught by Birthlight. Our aim is to bring positive water experiences both to the parent and child, including fully advocating ‘child-led’ submersions practice as championed by the Birthlight Foundation. The strong ethos of continually seeking professional development, instilled by Birthlight has led me to many new paths, including Tutoring for the STA.  Over time I have met many individuals who are looking to develop a deeper understanding in the extensive area of Infant Aquatics and I feel that the training offered by Birthlight meets those needs.  

Being part of Birthlight has taught me that people come to swimming from many different backgrounds and for a variety of reasons.  This in turn brings rich exchange of material that can be both learned by the student and the Tutor.  I hope to encourage the trade of knowledge as my journey with Birthlight continues.


Marion O'Connor - UK

Diving into the water side of Birthlight training stirs my interest in studying baby development and attachment in a fluid, nurturing medium. Babies have so much to teach us, and the water presents a milieu where there is so much opportunity for us to learn from them.

Family contact in water can concentrate communication which, ironically, may be diluted on dry land.  Our wonderful, recently retired, Birthlight Baby Swim tutor, Shawn, wrote:

“Babies are continuously communicating with us, making choices and waiting for us to partner with them.”
 
Her quote reminds me of my lovely Dad who died too young, but some years before his last breath evaporated he made it his mission to teach his young daughter to swim. He achieved this through drips of gentle cajoling and floods of fun. But my main memory is of the quality essence of those pool visits.  Being a man of few words the pool environment only served to enhance the swell of our relationship. Communication in water is more subtle than the spoken word. We plunged into a shared visceral understanding. Babies love to share, and through the conduit of water they are in their element.

Memories surface from nearly twenty years ago when I attended Franciose’s baby swim sessions;  a warm mist floating above a glass-smooth turquoise  pool, an oasis of calm sheltering amid the bustle of North London. Even more valuable than those techniques which I used and adapted to channel my 3 children into confident swimmers, was the Birthlight ethos of intuitive, gentle communication, reading needs of others and going with the flow…….later on we graduated to using a beneficial method loved by all, commonly know as a ‘fun splash about’. Two of my children drifted naturally into competitive swimming, and for a while enjoyed serious training.
                                             
I wonder whether some  babies are tugged by the pull of the moon? One mother reported that her  baby son is as calm as a millpond till the moon rises to  a sliver off full, and then a swell of emotion oozes from his pores, an unsettling period erupts. She dips  his turmoil into the calming waters where a liberating sense of balance rises up between them, as if loosening the line the moon uses to tug the earth’s tides.
 
This sense of liberation, I think, is a taste of what I felt swimming with my Dad, and much later, the sense of freedom when experiencing buoyant breastfeeding on the shallow steps of  Francoise’s North London venue. Families can find a natural balance within the rhythmic bobbing of water, the gravitational release of the muscles, a  parent’s freedom to drift, while baby’s reflexes instinctually bend to the liquid shape at the water’s invitation.

May I give thanks to the flow that has sailed me to this place where  I am grateful for the opportunity to spread the Birthlight  aqua based trainings  and to embrace the  Birthlight ethos  of supporting families to discover the underlying current of love that sustains us through life’s ebbs and flows.

 

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