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Olympic swimming champion makes waves at Chessington’s pop up pool

James Giles

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Adam Whitehead celebrates with Chessington Community College

Olympic swimming champion, Adam Whitehouse, treated students at Chessington Community College to a special assembly and free swimming lesson, marking the success of the pop up pool in South of the Borough.

An impressive 680 people have visited the pool since its launch on 31 May at the Chessington Sports Centre, with 248 bookings in the first 72 hours.

The breaststroke ace visited the school on Thursday 7 July. A tour of the building kicked off the morning of activities for the lucky year seven group, who were joined by Councillors Andrea Craig and Andrew Day, as well as Headteacher, Mr Ash Ali.

Inspired by Adam’s speech, a group of year sevens took to the water and were given top tips on swimming techniques.

Councillor Andrea Craig, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Schools and Sport at Kingston Council, said: 
“What a wonderful morning – seeing the Year 7 children so transfixed whilst listening to Adam’s Olympic journey, asking questions and getting autographs shows us how engaged they are with sport and role models. When I was a child, David Wilkie, Gold Olympic swimmer and my sporting hero, spoke at an event at the Putney Leisure Centre and that’s what got me really into swimming as a child. I hope that Adam’s assembly did exactly that for the children at Chessington Community College.”

Available exclusively to key stage 2 children in local schools during school hours to teach them how to swim, the pool is open to adults and children alike in the evening and on Saturdays. Sessions are now fully booked, with more sessions potentially being created for the pool’s final month.

This initiative is part of the Mayor of London’s ‘Make a Splash’ campaign to get Londoners swimming following on from the Olympics.

To find out more about sport within the borough, visit www.kingston.gov.uk/sports.

James Giles is the Editor of the Kingston Enquirer, covering local news and events in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

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Kingston Town

Award ceremony celebrates achievements of Kingston children with Special Educational Needs

James Giles

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Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Kingston and Richmond have been given recognition for their accomplishments at an awards ceremony.

The awards run by Kingston and Richmond’s social enterprise Achieving for Children (AfC) took place at Clarendon School in Hampton on 20 January. The event is aimed at celebrating the achievements of local children and young people and their impact they have had in inspiring other children, young people and their families.

People from across the two boroughs were invited to nominate an individual or group of children and young people they felt had done something special under four different categories; ‘impact’, ‘inspiration’,‘personal achievement’ and ‘recognition’.

The AfC team received over 100 entries for judging. Nominations were judged by panels made up of a parent, professional and a young person. Twenty nominations were selected as outstanding by the panels.

Cllr Richard Hudson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Social Care and Health at Kingston Council, said:

“Having an awards ceremony to recognise the hard work of these individuals is a fantastic idea and are a great way of helping those with special educational needs gain self-confidence. I am confident that they are hugely appreciated by those who receive an award.”

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