A boy from Polegate’s won a top prize at this year’s Southern Water Learn to Swim Achiever awards.
Each year the courage and determination of children who have learned to swim against the odds or performed exceptionally is celebrated, as one child is nominated from each pool.
Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew and Invictus Games gold medallist Mike Goody were at the event in Medway Park, Gillingham, on November 19, to present the awards.
Josh Puttick, 11, from Southfield, received his award and swim teacher Michele Boby said, “Having a hole in his right ear Josh avoided swimming during his early years. He has a natural aptitude for swimming and has quickly become a very confident swimmer.”
Josh’s swim teacher is especially impressed by his achievements as he only began swimming two years ago. Josh’s mum, Kim Whyte, decided swimming lessons were imperative after experiencing the frightening incident on the Eastbourne pier as it caught fire. Both Josh and his mum exited the pier safely, but felt that lessons were important, and regardless of age, it’s never too late to learn.
Southern Water’s community campaigns and engagement manager, Beverley Thompson, said, “Celebrating our young achievers is the highlight of the Learn to Swim scheme. We also want to thank all the instructors at the clubs and pools across our region who give their time and expertise to teach all our young swimmers. Here at Southern Water we are passionate about keeping children safe around water. Next year we celebrate 25 years of Learn to Swim which will be a fantastic milestone for everyone who's been involved."
Learn to Swim supports lessons at 85 pools and clubs across the region and has taught more than 700,000 children to swim since it began in 1992. It is sponsored by Clancy Docwra.