Thamesmead school children were given the unique opportunity to learn to swim with Olympian, double Commonwealth Gold Medallist and European Champion swimmer, Adam Whitehead.
Year five pupils from Northwood Primary School not only benefited from a master class but also an inspiring talk as part of the launch event for the Peabody group’s Sporting Club Thamesmead’s pop up swimming pool which is available at Thamesmead’s newest sport and leisure facility until 15 July.
Adam Whitehead said: “Swimming is one of the most important sports, not just because it helps to promote health and wellbeing but because it can potentially save lives.
“Our pop up pools enable not only school children but the wider community to become better swimmers. Venues like Sporting Club Thamesmead, which is a wonderful facility, allows us to offer swimming at affordable prices, right on peoples doorsteps, making it easily accessible whilst bringing the community together.”
Peabody’s Chief Executive, Stephen Howlett said: “The pop up pool is a great opportunity for residents of Thamesmead to learn to swim or become stronger swimmers. We hope it will help make everyone safer in and around water, and encourages them to keep fit and healthy, if not through swimming, then through one of the many other fantastic activities which take place at Sporting Club Thamesmead.”
Northwood Primary School, PE Coordinator and Year Five Teacher, Christine Hewitt said: “Sporting Club Thamesmead’s pop up pool provides a fantastic opportunity for our children to access swimming in smaller groups. Having a more personal tuition means everyone gets a lot more out of lessons. It is great and meeting Adam today has been inspiring for many of our pupils.”
Jon Glenn, Head of Youth and Community 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 helping to target this group, as well as those who sadly reach both secondary school and adulthood without this life-saving skill.”
The pop up pool is part of The Mayor of London’s Make a Splash campaign in partnership with Sporting Club Thamesmead and Trust Thamesmead as part of the Peabody Group and the London Borough of Bexley, delivered by Total Swimming and Amateur Swimming Association (ASA). The programme is designed to ensure a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the aim of ensuring Londoners benefit from inspirational projects that significantly increase participation in sport and physical activity, as well as using sport to tackle social issues.
The programme is also sponsored by Thames Water, who provide water for all of the pools.
Make a Splash has, to date, taught more than 25,000 children to swim across the U.K. via their pop up pools.
To book swimming lessons at the Make a Splash pool at Sporting Club Thamesmead based in Bayliss Avenue, visit www.totalswimming.co.uk/make-a-splash
Alternatively, to participate in one of the many other activities taking place at the pool, call Sporting Club Thamesmead direct, T: 020 8320 4488.