A determined Sheffield tot has made a splash by being named one of the UK’s most inspiring young swimmers.
Little Grace Watson, aged just two years and seven months, was crowned a ‘Little Hero’ by youngsters’ swim school Water Babies after using the exercise to improve her health.
Grace was diagnosed with Generalised Hypermobility and Hypotonia at 20 months old, leaving her with an increased range of motion in her joints and low muscle tone and strength.
After visiting a consultant and a physiotherapist, swimming was recommended as an excellent way to improve both her strength and co-ordination while still being gentle on her joints.
After six months with Water Babies, Grace’s progress had come on leaps and bounds. She is now able to walk unaided and her muscle has visibly increased.
Mum Janine Watson said Grace was even running down the hospital corridors and climbing on chairs at her last consultant’s appointment, and has since been discharged from hospital for the foreseeable future.
Janine said: “I am eternally grateful to Water Babies and so unbelievably proud of my daughter Grace – she is my Water Babies Little Hero in so many ways. “The swimming ability and the physical progress she has made both in and out of the water is incredible.
“Thanks to Grace, I also had the confidence and motivation to overcome my own lifelong phobia of being underwater – and because of that we now have a unique bond which has brought us closer together than ever before.”
Paul Thompson, co-founder of Water Babies, said the aim of the Little Hero awards was not only to celebrate incredible swimming stories, but also to raise awareness of the importance of children learning to swim at as early an age as possible.
For more information on Water Babies, visit www.waterbabies.co.uk