A DEVOTED swimming teacher has sold half of her business to her daughter to pass the baton through the family after 25 years.

Denise Kemp, 51, has been running the Kingfisher Swimming School in Rochford since 1994.

She set up the swimming school, with lessons held at King Edmund School, after working for Essex County Council as a teacher for several years, deciding to go independent when the council made budget cuts.

Now, she has sold 50 per cent of the business’ shares to her daughter Sophie Jones, 29, to allow her to jointly manage it and run many of her own classes.

Whilst Sophie is now overseeing the school, Mrs Kemp still continues to teach many classes.

She said: “It was always a very natural step to pass on half of the business to Sophie, I’ve trained her since she was 13 and she always had a drive for swimming.

“Initially she started out as a teacher, but has given that up so she can spend more time with her child, she has a second on the way soon.

“By taking up half of the company it allows her to manage a lot of the classes herself and take a leading role, but still work part time so she can be with her family.

“It was a lovely thing to be able to do, as it was my mum who taught me to swim when younger as she was a teacher before me.”

The Kingfisher Swimming School has around 550 young swimmers taking part in classes every year, having only started with 40.

Mrs Kemp said the school’s 25 year tenure has gone from strength to strength, and is looking forward to seeing it grow under her daughter’s leadership.

She added: “My other daughter Jordan, who’s 21, did consider taking some of the business on but felt she wasn’t quite ready for it, but she’s working for us now and is quite happy, I think we all hope that further down the line she’ll take a bigger role with the school.

“I’m still very much around and teaching a lot of classes, I love it and always have done. When the council funding was first cut I had a group of devoted parents who liked my classes, and so I said I thought about going independent, and they’ve supported me ever since.

“It’s been a huge success and I’m sure Sophie is going to thrive.”

Visit www.kingfishersswimschool.co.uk.