The Swimming Achiever of the Year is an annual award event hosted by Southern Water that rewards the courage and determination of children who have learnt to swim against the odds or performed exceptionally. The Achiever Awards event celebrates the children’s efforts and recognise the dedication and commitment of their parents and instructors.
Every year, about 38,000 children are taught to swim at more than 80 swimming centres and clubs in Southern Waters geography, which includes Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Every swimming pool or club is invited to nominate a child who, for them, has overcome a difficulty in learning to swim, whether it is a fear of water or a disability.
On the 13th of July 2014 we celebrated the achievements of special children who had been nominated by their swimming teachers to win an achiever of the year award. Winners were presented with a medal and a certificate along with a bag of prizes by Olympic Gold medallist Duncan Goodhew MBE, at a presentation ceremony held at Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Portsmouth.
The awards events are family friendly tea parties, with balloons and children’s entertainers and each child is presented with a medal, certificate and bag of goodies by Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew MBE.
Tonia Cook’s Testimony – Archie’s Mother
Archie has had two open heart surgeries, one at three months and another aged 7 (last year). He was diagnosed with congenital heart disease, which means he had three holes in his heart, plus his arteries were not formed properly.
After his last surgery Archie’s suffered heart block, which meant he no longer had a natural heartbeat, this meant that he had to have an emergency pace maker fitted. He is no longer allowed to play contact sports, which is a shame as he loves football. So we encouraged him to do swimming lessons, as he loved the water. Claire has encouraged him all the way and built up his confidence. He loves his lessons so much, it is a joy to see him greatly enjoying it.
Claire Hewlett’s Testimony – Swimming Instructor
Archie has had many physical and emotional challenges to overcome during our time together. However, he comes to every lesson with an exceptional attitude and gives 120% each time. Despite these challenges, Archie is an inspiration to us all and his happiness, determination and overall being the lovely young man that he is makes me feel privileged to have the opportunity to teach him. He deserves to be recognised for these qualities and the progress that he has made. However, he should be incredibly proud of how he conducts himself overall.