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Learn to swim in Hackney for free with Make a Splash

PUBLISHED: 15:49 01 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:10 01 February 2014

Olympic athlete, Adam Whitehead, opened a temporary teaching pool for pupils and the local community at Daubeney Primary School

Olympic athlete, Adam Whitehead, opened a temporary teaching pool for pupils and the local community at Daubeney Primary School

Archant

Olympic swimmer Adam Whitehead has officially opened a temporary teaching pool for pupils and the local community, which will be in Homerton for the next three months.

Olympic athlete, Adam Whitehead, with nine-year old Archie Parnum.Olympic athlete, Adam Whitehead, with nine-year old Archie Parnum.

A lucky group of children from Daubeney Primary School in Daubeney Road, Homerton, welcomed the former Commonwealth and European swimmer, when he came to launch City Hall’s Make a Splash programme last Tuesday.

Only one in four Hackney youngsters can swim the length of a swimming pool by the time they leave primary school, and the Make a Splash campaign aims to teach at least 1,000 children in the borough to learn to swim over the next 12 weeks.

Lessons will be also available for the wider community after school hours.

Mr Whitehead delivered an inspirational assembly to get the children excited about swimming, before taking to the pool for a special swimming lesson.

He finds it disappointing many children cannot swim 25m unaided.

“I was really fortunate to learn how to swim at a young age and that led to a lifetime of enjoying being in the pool,” he said.

“For me, swimming is primarily about safety and making sure that everybody is able to be safe in and around water.”

The programme is supported by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and British Gas, along with Total Swimming which delivers free lessons and Thames Water which provided free water to fill the pool.

To book swimming lessons at Daubeney Primary School see www.totalswimming.co.uk/make-a-splash.

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