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Water Babies reveals plans to build and operate in UK, Germany and China

By Rob Gibson    07 Feb 2018
Water Babies lessons teach babies to control their breathing when swimming / Shutterstock
"This is a game-changing development for Water Babies and the infant swimming industry"
– Steve Franks, managing director, Water Babies

Infant swimming school Water Babies has announced plans to open four new swim centres in the UK, Germany and China this year.

The franchise business, based in Devon, reached a weekly client base of more than 50,000 last year, with a business model heavily dependent on hiring pool space.

It is now looking to build and operate its own “premium facilities” to house Water Babies lessons, as well as aquanatal classes from sister company WaterBumps.

It has partnered with Italian pool building firm Myrtha Pools, which has constructed pools for the recent Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

“This is a game-changing development for Water Babies and the infant swimming industry,” said Steve Franks, managing director of Water Babies.

“In collaborating with Myrtha, we’re confident we’ll be in a position to offer a level of baby swimming lessons unrivalled in the world.”

The first centres will both be in China – in Shenzhen and Zhuhai – closely followed by Stirling in Scotland and Munster in Germany, where the business has recently purchased land for development.

Facilities have also been earmarked in Exeter and Bristol, close to their existing West Country base in Honiton.

Water Babies was co-founded by Paul Thompson in 2002 and now teaches babies to swim via a network of 76 franchise outlets and around 600 teachers across the UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and China.

The concept teaches babies as young as six weeks to control their breathing instead of relying on reflexes when going underwater, “negating the risk of water inhalation and giving babies a sense of being fully in control” according to the business.

Water Babies  Myrtha Pools  Steve Franks  Paul Thompson 
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