Making a splash at Hampshire's Achiever Awards

Making a splash

21 children won a top prize at this year's Learn to Swim Achiever Awards in Portsmouth. 

There were inspiring tales of bravery and determination as Southern Water celebrated young swimmers from West Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight who were recognised at this year’s Learn to Swim Achiever Awards.

The ceremony, held at Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth celebrated some of the most talented and inspiring young swimmers, who have been learning to swim under the scheme this year.

Children who had conquered a fear of water and youngsters who succeeded in the pool despite considerable challenges collected their medals and certificates from Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew and Invictus Games champion Mike Goody, in front of an audience of parents, families and coaches from participating pools and clubs.

Duncan Goodhew, MBE, said:

“I have been a Learn to Swim ambassador for more than twenty years and each year I am proud to celebrate the young swimmers achievements in the pool. Swimming is an extraordinary sport and more than that, it’s a challenge. Another amazing part of Learn to Swim is the instructors, they teach children a life-saving skill.”

Mike Goody started swimming with Southern Water’s Learn to Swim scheme 25 years ago and recently took home two gold medals at this year’s Invictus Games in Sydney.

He said: “The importance of Learn to swim is paramount. It’s fantastic to see the scheme is still going, and not only encouraging but rewarding children too. The young swimmers are an example of what can be achieved through sheer determination. A favourite quote of mine – 'Just keep swimming!'”

Beverley Thompson, Community Engagement Manager for Southern Water added:

“Celebrating our young achievers is one of the many highlights of the Learn to Swim scheme. We would like to thank all the instructors at the clubs and pools across the regions who give their time and expertise to teach all our young swimmers.

“Here at Southern Water we are passionate about keeping children safe around water. With over 700 miles of coastline in our region, it’s so important to teach them this life-saving skill.”

This is the 26th year of Southern Water’s Learn to Swim programme – which supports lessons at more than 80 pools and clubs across the region and has so far helped to teach more than 800,000 children to swim.