Determined youngsters win awards for their swimming

West Sussex Achievers of the Year award winners, from left, Beatrice Millard, Liam Hough and Emma Fox, with Duncan Goodhew and Mike Goody. Picture: Ciaran McCrickard Photography
West Sussex Achievers of the Year award winners, from left, Beatrice Millard, Liam Hough and Emma Fox, with Duncan Goodhew and Mike Goody. Picture: Ciaran McCrickard Photography

Three determined young swimmers from West Sussex have won a top prize at this year’s Southern Water Learn to Swim achiever awards.

Shoreham award winner Liam Hough, ten, who trains with Penguins Swimming Lessons at Lancing College, wants to go all the way to the Olympics with his swimming.

Swim teacher Lee Hammond said: “Liam is a star in the making. His love of swimming and dedication to improve has led him to join the Penguins Development Squad.

“He’s a pleasure to teach and always enthusiastic. We are very proud of his achievements in the pool.”

Award winner Emma Fox, eight, has her lessons at Splashpoint in Worthing.

Swim teacher Triston Lyons said: “When Emma started, she was petrified of the water and had to overcome many hurdles.

“She can now demonstrate excellent stroke techniques swimming in water out of her depth and her confident continues to grow.”

Beatrice Millard, six, from Chichester has been learning swim at Chichester Cormorants Swim School for nine months.

Swim teacher Emma Barber said: “There were many tears when Bea first joined and she was petrified of getting in the pool and putting her face in the water.

“She has overcome her fears and is now able to swim beautifully. She can swim 25 metres, front and back crawl.”

This is the 25th year of the Learn to Swim programme and each year the courage and determination of children who have learned to swim against the odds, or performed exceptionally, is celebrated, with one child from each pool nominated for the Achiever of the Year award by their swimming teacher.

Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew and Invictus Games gold medallist Mike Goody presented the young swimmers with medals and certificates in front of an audience of families and swim teachers from participating pools at the event at The Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth, on Sunday.

Duncan said: “If you want to see a room full of joy then go to Southern Water’s Achiever of the Year Awards.

“You’ll meet some remarkable children and their swimming instructors – and a company which really cares about teaching children a skill they’ll keep for life. The awards are an absolute pleasure to attend.”

Learn to Swim supports more than 80 pools and clubs across the region and has taught more than 750,000 children to swim since it began in 1992.

Beverley Thompson, Southern Water’s community campaigns and engagement manager, said: “This year, we celebrated 25 years of Learn to Swim - a fantastic milestone for everyone who’s been involved.

“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.

“We’re looking ahead to the next 25 years and to helping to teach even more youngsters a life saving skill.”