Daisy just loves being a mermaid
She’s always been fascinated by mermaids and the sea, and now Daisy Lewis is making a real splash teaching others how to swim with a tail.
Daisy and her business partner Billy Davies launched the Finsplash Mermaid School last year and now hold monthly lessons teaching children and adults how to swim like a mermaid.
The Finsplash team also travels to pools all over the country hosting children’s and hen parties, fitness classes and mermaid makeovers while their mermaids are available to hire for other events as well.
“I’ve travelled quite a lot,” said Daisy, 29,, of Terrington St Clement, “And it was during one spontaneous trip to Boracay in the Philippines that I saw a poster for mermaid swimming classes.
“I’ve always loved mermaids, since I was a little girl, and I knew I just had to sign up straight away.
“I attended the induction where they took us into the sea; it was just absolutely beautiful, such a stunning location. They taught us the four main strokes and we spent about an hour-and-a-half swimming around with our monofins on.
“I just absolutely loved it, so I went back the next day for the advanced course, where they took us out into deeper water. We had to wear a different tail and fin as this session involved more diving down.”
Daisy stayed on in Boracay Beach, where she taught mermaid skills for a while. Once home her underwater adventures set her thinking that there wasn’t any real opportunity for others to swim like a mermaid in Norfolk, so she decided to launch her own unique swim school and now teaches monthly lessons at UEA Sportspark, in Norwich.
She gained her lifeguarding qualification and then attended a week-long intensive training course in Germany with the International Mermaid Swimming Instructors Association where she learnt about the history of mermaids as well as teaching techniques.
“Since launching things have been going really well – we travel to different pools all over the UK hosting parties, events and classes.
“Earlier this year we also took a team down to Bournemouth to compete in the Merlympics which was great fun,” said Daisy, who previously worked a variety of flexible jobs to fit in around her travelling.
“A lot of people think it’s just a novelty thing, but there is so much more to mermaiding than just slipping a tail on and looking pretty.
“It’s such a great sport – a lot of free divers use the same monofin, and dolphin is such a strong stroke; you can go so fast and so deep. In fact I much prefer swimming in a monofin now.
“The children we teach are just so excited by it all, which is lovely to see. Our lessons are open to everyone – it’s not just for girls and women. We’ve got some darker tails which look like sharks and have had men and boys come along. It really is great fun for everyone.”
Finsplash mermaid lessons are open to everyone aged eight and over, with prices starting from £30. For more information visit www.finsplash.co.uk or follow @finsplash on Faceboook.
In the run up to Christmas Daisy is also producing a charity mermaid / merman calendar to raise funds for ACO Africa’s Christmas Project.
She has been involved with the small charity for a couple of years, after seeing first hand all the good work it does and is now hoping to raise at least £550 to give Ugandan families and elderly men and women with HIV a special Christmas meal.
The calendars will be on sale shortly, priced £10, with all proceeds going to the fund. Alternatively donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/r2zwkb-christmas-project.