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Essex local Maria dives in with new baby swim school

16 Mar Essex local Maria dives in with new baby swim school

Local lady, Maria Gray has taken the exciting step to launch swim school Puddle Ducks Chelmsford and North East London, providing swimming lessons for babies, toddlers, and pre-school children up to the age of four.

Maria has always wanted to run her own business, one that combined her love of swimming and her teaching background. Her planning started during the early days of the pandemic, and she never wavered, continuing to work as a teacher and office administrator whilst waiting for the right time to open.

Mum of three, Maria has lived in the local area for most of her life and has had a successful career in teaching, initially as a secondary school teacher. She spent some time abroad, before returning to the UK to teach at a primary school.

Maria’s love for swimming blossomed at a young age, completing lessons throughout her youth. One of the lifeguards at her local leisure centre spotted that she had talent and she went on to compete for the borough, winning the senior swimming cup at Braeside School Swimming Gala. As she was the youngest competitor, just 11 years old, her story appeared in the local paper.

Maria commented: “I absolutely love swimming and my early experiences led me to want to set up a swim school that was child-led and provided a safe and reassuring environment to learn to swim. When I found Puddle Ducks I fell in love with the ethos, the environment, and the team, I just knew it was a business I wanted to be part of. I was delighted when I got the chance to open my own Puddle Ducks franchise.

“Demand is really high for lessons because children need to catch up for lost time. I’m so excited to get started with lessons in my local area, supporting families and their children in sharing my passion for swimming and learning a skill for life!”

Maria is currently teaching lessons for children up to 4 years old at Caterham High School, Ilford, The Boswells School in Chelmsford and will soon have classes in Stapleford Abbotts, Romford, with additional pools coming soon.

Puddle Ducks is looking for pools across the area to run classes, as well as having opportunities for more teachers and assistants to join her growing team.
To find out more about Puddle Ducks Chelmsford and North East London swimming lessons, get in touch by calling 01245 981000, emailing or visit their website at