LITTLE mermaids, mermen and sharks graduated last week from swimming academies in Torfaen.

The first batch of fully trained mermaid and sharks have finished their time at Cwmbran Stadium last week, after completing a Torfaen Leisure Trust-run Mermaid and Shark Academy.

The Academy, which is the first of its kind in the area, taught children to swim like a mythical creature or fearful fish whilst wearing clip-on tails.

Swimming instructor and qualified mermaid, Stephanie Harrhy, 29, said: “We just wanted to do something different. It’s really fun and the children all enjoy it.

The classes run for five weeks and the children receive bronze, silver and gold awards based on their experience levels.

Beginners learn how to move with the fins and more experienced swimmers are taught to flick their tails and do handstands.

“It’s a really good way to stay fit too - great for your core muscles.”

The fins come from Fin2Fit, who train instructors and run the award scheme for children.