Three youngsters who lost their mother to a terminal illness were honoured at this year’s Learn to Swim awards.
Harry, 15, Joe, 13, and nine-year-old Chloe Stevens, from Redmayne Drive, have swimming lessons at Summerfields and were presented with an award by former Olympic swimming gold medallist Duncan Goodhew.
They were part of a group of 25 children to get the accolade at a ceremony at Bewl Water in Kent last Sunday (July 20).
Their mum passed away last summer.
Isabella Hall, five, from Athelstan Road and eight-year-old Maddison Smith, from St Leonards, were also presented with awards, as well as Corey Dunn and Isabelle Benham, from Bexhill.
Isabella has a condition which restricts the use of her arms. Maddison has a painful condition which causes fluid retention in her feet and ankles. Her teacher Trevor Spink said: “Swimming is very therapeutic for her and her new found sense of fulfilment and enjoyment has greatly boosted her self-confidence.”
The winners also received medals and goodie bags while they were cheered on by families and swimming instructors. After the prize-giving, guests enjoyed afternoon tea and entertainment by the Big Bite-Size Plays Factory performing their Southern Water-commissioned show Down The Toilet.
Mr Goodhew said: “We are here to celebrate the most committed swimmers, the best examples of courage. The award winners have either overcome something or are showing great tenacity and talent. These children have put Olympic effort and Olympic courage into swimming.”
Southern Water’s Helen Sparkes, who runs the Learn to Swim programme, said: “This event is always a highlight for everyone involved in the programme. The award-winners are inspirational and I’d like to congratulate them all and thank everyone who supports the programme.”