Amanda Gawthrope

Amanda is a Swimming teacher, Aqua Yoga teacher, Birthlight and STA tutor, disability swimming teacher and coach, water therapist, Halliwick teacher and speaker.

Inspired by her mother, a swimmer herself who taught Amanda to swim across the river Cam from the age of three. By the time she was fifteen, Amanda was competing in the British nationals swimming event and training in the holidays at Crystal Palace with the British team.

Before meeting Françoise Freedman, Amanda was teaching main stream swimming lessons for the City of Cambridge and working as a self employed reflexologist. Françoise was a new inspiration and after seeing her teaching baby swimming, she realised Birthlight’s way of swimming with babies was what she had been looking for.

Amanda approached the STA (Swimming Teachers Association) inviting them to see Birthlight swimming classes and methods, with the idea of accrediting the Birthilight organisation to a governing body in swimming, the STA invited Françoise to write their baby and pre-school teacher training manual which is in use with all tutors today.

With the aid of the STA manual, Amanda went on Françoise’s behalf to Taiwan to deliver one of Birthlight/STA’s first teacher training courses, accompanied by Lee Robinson the president of the STA. Baby swimming was unheard of there, the Taiwanese had never imagined putting young babies in the water before! Luckily one of the trainee teachers on the course had a six month old and allowed us to immerse his baby in the water which turned out to be very successful, making prime-time news on the television there.

Birthlight holds a special place in Amanda’s heart. Amanda has promoted its methods and philosophy at WABC (World Aquatic Baby Congress) conferences around the world, presenting twice with her good friend and colleague Sally Lomas in Hawaii and Norway.

Over ten years ago Amanda started a little group of special swimmers which today is known as CDKSC (Cambridge Disabled Kids Swim Club) a busy club with three teachers and many volunteers meeting twice a week. Amanda also coaches the City of Cambridge Disability squad.

Amanda runs Dolphin Baby Swim teaching babies and children water skills all over Cambridgeshire and beyond. She also founded Happy Dolphin Swim School in Bishops Stortford.