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L-R: Duncan Goodhew MBE, Paisleigh Peacock (8), Lilly-Mai Reuben (5), Mitchel Wyatt (10), Seth Arnold (7), Mike Goody and Louis Cave (10)

5 Isle of Wight children have picked up a top prize at this year’s Southern Water Learn to Swim Achiever Awards.

The children were some of a select few to have been nominated for an award by their swimming teacher on this year’s Learn to Swim scheme.

Each year the courage and determination of children who have learned to swim against the odds or performed exceptionally is celebrated as 1 child is nominated from each pool.

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Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew and Invictus Games gold medallist Mike Goody were at the event on Saturday (26th November) at the Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth.

The winners were:

• Seth Arnold, 7, from Binstead.

His swimming teacher Todd Miller said:

“Seth has only been having lessons for a few years but has shot up through the stages. He’s just participated in his first  gala and, although he was considerably younger than the rest, he did really well. He listens to everything and this shines through in his ability and technique.”

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• Paisleigh Peacock, 8, from Freshwater.

Her swimming teacher Pat Johnson said:

“Paisleigh is a credit to her mum and swimming club. Her determination to improve in the pool will take her far. She is a pleasure to teach and definitely one to watch in the future.”

• Mitchel Wyatt, 10, from Shanklin.

His swimming teacher Sarah McCrum said:

“It sometimes takes Mitchel a while to master certain skills due to his dyspraxia but he always perseveres and succeeds. The best thing about Mitchel is his smile and he is a delight to have in the class.”

• Louie Cave, 10, from Carisbrooke.

His swimming teacher Rosie Gard said:

“When Louie first started swimming he was very nervous. However, he persevered and is now looking to move up to stage 6 soon. He brings a positive attitude to the group and is always so polite and a pleasure to teach.”

• Lilly-Mai Reuben, 5, from Freshwater.

Her swimming teacher Gay Grieve said:

“When Lily started having swimming lessons she was too scared to go in the main pool but she has been very brave and overcame her fear. Now she has all her lessons in the main pool and has mastered front and back crawl, really impressing us.”

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 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 helped teach more than 700,000 children to swim since it began in 1992. It is sponsored by Clancy Docwra.

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