Hannah McGinn with her "Little Hero" award.
The little darling pictured above is two-and-a-half-year-old Hannah McGinn who has just been announced as one of the eleven winners nationwide of Water Babies Little Heroes Awards.
Hannah, who has been attending Water Babies classes at the Integral pool in Bettystown since she was just three months old, has been through a lot this last year.
Early in 2019 Hannah learned that her Mammy was expecting twins and because the babies arrived early at just 24 weeks, she was separated from her Mum for six weeks after their birth.
She met her brother and sister when they were first born but sadly she had to say goodbye to her little sister after only a few days and she has only seen her baby brother Cathal a handful of times over the last six months as he is an inpatient in Temple Street hospital.
Advertisement - continue reading below
Throughout all of the chaos at home, the one thing that remained constant in Hannah’s life was her swimming lessons on a Sunday.
In her Mum Jennifer’s absence, Daddy took over swimming duties and Hannah has become a strong and independent little girl with an excellent understanding of the world around her.
She has toilet trained herself and learned how to sleep on her own in her own bed.
Mum Jennifer McGinn said “I honestly believe that she has learned a huge amount of this from her swimming lessons. Hannah packs her own swimming bag the night before and is enjoying being back in the pool after her Christmas break.”
Carol McNally from Water Babies said: “We are thrilled to see so many children benefitting from their time in our classes and being in the water. We all know that swimming is good for our physical health.
“It keeps our heart rate up, builds endurance and muscle strength. And it gets our little ones' limbs moving, so that they have a little workout helping to improve sleep quality and patterns.
“Introducing a baby to the pool can do wonders for their growth. That’s because all the skills that Water Babies teach in the water are structured to align with their key development milestones. And not just their physical ones, but their cognitive ones too” added Carol.
To find your nearest class, visit www.waterbabies.ie