Splash with Olympic swimmer
Pupils from Curwen Primary School in Plaistow have been treated to a special swimming session with Olympic bronze medallist and World Recorder holder, Joanne Jackson.
The visit, which took place on Friday (9 October), celebrated the installation of a temporary swimming pool at the school which is allowing youngsters the opportunity to take part in swimming lessons.
Since the pool opened on 9 September, 838 pupils have taken part in lessons and over 178 local adults and families have enjoyed using the facility.
The pool is part of the Make a Splash programme, which is run by Total Swimming and supported by the national governing body for Swimming, the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association).
Now in its third year, the initiative aims to encourage children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to go swimming, to get involved and give it a go.
The programme forms a key part of the Mayor of London’s £40m Sports Legacy Fund which was set up to help encourage more people to get into sport after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme is also sponsored by Thames Water, who provide water for all of the pools.
Curwen Primary School head teacher, Paul Harris, who recently won the prestigious 'Headteacher of the Year' at the 2015 TES Awards, said: “It is wonderful that Make a Splash has come back to Curwen Primary for a second visit. Curwen has increased in size by 30% since the last visit in 2013 and we have plans to expand the school population even further, in line with the needs of their borough.
"We are delighted to have the pool return to the School. It has a huge impact on the well-being, health and achievement of our children and our community. We hope to be able to continue offering this in the future. The Make a Splash programme has received the continual support and encouragement every day from our PE Department, and the children continue to achieve.”
Jon Glenn, head of Learn to Swim at the ASA, said: “Swimming is one of the easiest, safest forms of exercise for children of all abilities, and school swimming is the single most effective way of teaching children how to be safe in and around water.
“The Make a Splash project is invaluable in providing facilities that help schools to teach children this life-saving skill.”
The pool is available at Curwen Primary School until 2 December. For more information or to book lessons, visit www.totalswimming.co.uk/make-a-splash