Radiographer Pina’s writing career is going swimmingly

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A Radiographer at King’s Mill hospital has done something completely different to her ‘day job’ by writing a children’s book to help youngsters learn to swim.

Pina Hannan has been a radiographer at the hospital for 30 years, but in her spare time is a qualified swimming coach and runs her own business teaching children and adults to swim.

It was from there that her idea for a book grew.

The book, which is called Even Pink Duck Swims and comes with a purple rubber duck, is aimed at children between the ages of three and eight and follows the story of a pink duck as it watches children learn to swim.

It features simple language and colourful illustrations to talk children through the stages of learning to swim and helps them overcome fears.

The duck that comes with it changes colour from purple to pink when put into warm water to encourage children to get into the water too.

Pina said: “As a swimming coach I teach a lot of young children, as well as adults.

“I see teaching as a rewarding hobby and found that I was receiving lots of phone calls from parents saying that their children were learning to swim but were apprehensive, weren’t enjoying lessons or were traumatised by past swimming experiences.

“For me it’s important that both parents and children understand that some of these feelings when learning to swim are normal. This is where the idea for my book came from. The aim is that children feel like they can relate to the pink duck and the duck helps them understand their fear as they go through the book, teaching them that water is nothing to be afraid of, as well as techniques. A rubber duck also comes with the book so that children can feel like they’re in the story.

The book follows guidelines set by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), the national governing body for swimming, and is available from Bannister Publications in Chesterfield and Darwin Forest Country Park in Matlock, or by emailing Pina (pinahannan@hotmail.com).

“Doing something like this is very different to my role as a radiographer, which I have done for a long time now. I started to coach swimming 19 years ago and developed the idea for the book quite recently. Staff at King’s Mill Hospital have been excellent in supporting me achieve my goal and I was able to take flexible retirement in late 2016 to work fewer hours. That gave me the opportunity and time to really get stuck in to writing and completing my book, which I have loved every minute of. It’s always a great feeling to see children coming on leaps and bounds with their swimming when doing lessons alongside reading the book. I hope it can help even more children learn to swim and overcome their fears.”

Since the book was released in summer 2017, Pina has sold almost 250 copies and has even sent a signed copy of the book and the duck to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for Prince George and Princess Charlotte. She has also visited local schools to talk to children about the book and swimming.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ Radiography Services Manager, Jayne Burkitt, said: “Pina has worked as a Radiographer at Sherwood Forest Hospitals since 1988.

It’s fantastic to see her doing something so exciting since she took flexible retirement. For many years she has combined her role as a part time radiographer and a swimming coach and has now added author to her repertoire.”