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Friday, 06 February 2015
Children from thirty-seven primary school in the local area took part in this year’s Bolton Schools’ Swimming Championships, which took place over two days. The Year 5/6 competition was hosted by Total Fitness gym in Bolton, while the Year 4/5 event was held at Bolton School. Both venues sponsored the event by providing use of their pools free of charge.
There was a buzz of excitement on the poolside for the first day of the competition, with the promise not only of a great morning of swimming, but also a very special guest: Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington!
Rebecca won gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle events in Beijing 2008 and bronze in the same two events in London 2012, and shares the record as the UK’s most decorated Olympian with rower Katherine Grainger. She has recently started a learn to swim programme called SwimStars, with the aim that all children should be able to swim 25m by the time they leave primary school.
She arrived at Total Fitness to cheer on more than 260 pupils in the freestyle and mixed swimming relays. She said, “I came to this event last year and it was great because it’s not all about who’s winning, it’s about everyone getting involved and having a laugh. It’s about them having fun in the water. They’re all different abilities, as well, and it’s great because there’s no pressure to do better than somebody else. It’s not necessarily about serious competition. It’s good also from a school point of view as so many schools take part – there are over thirty schools here today!”
Rebecca spent the morning talking to pupils and staff from each of the thirty-four schools taking part in the Year 5/6 competition. She also signed t-shirts and swimming caps and gave swimming advice to the children.
The Olympic presence certainly inspired the pupils to perform at their very best. As well as applauding the winners of each race, representatives from SwimStars also awarded special certificated for Courage, Determination, Perseverance and Leadership to a number of children who displayed these qualities in the pool. These pupils, who might not be the fastest or the most skilled swimmers, were delighted to have their efforts recognised.
The Year 4/5 competition took place at Bolton School’s pool with eleven schools taking part. At both events, all of the children were very supportive of one anther’s efforts and cheered on not only their own school but all of the competitors right to the end of each race.
The Bolton School Junior Girls entered two teams into the Year 4/5 competition. Their coach, Miss De Maine, was very impressed with their performance throughout the gala. Both the Year 4 and Year 5 teams excelled themselves in the medley and freestyle relay races, and Hesketh House was victorious in all of their heats, with the A Team eventually taking first place overall in the girls’ competition! Miss De Maine said, “The Year 5 girls team won both of their races by a very comfortable margin. The Year 4 girls also did extremely well, particularly when taking into account the fact that they were racing against mainly Year 5 girls from other schools across Bolton.”
High Lawn School won the boys’ Year 4/5 competition. The two-day championships were organised as part of Bolton’s Schools Sports Partnership.
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