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Swimming hero reopens school pool

PUBLISHED: 20:05 23 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:34 12 July 2010

CAPTIVATED young-sters had a glimpse of gold on Friday as Olympic swimming hero Duncan Goodhew opened a refurbished swimming pool.

With the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, the gold medallist from Moscow 1980 opened Long Stratton High's Harker Swimming Pool.

CAPTIVATED young-sters had a glimpse of gold on Friday as Olympic swimming hero Duncan Goodhew opened a refurbished swimming pool.

With the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, the gold medallist from Moscow 1980 opened Long Stratton High's Harker Swimming Pool.

The pool was filled with youngsters from St Mary's Junior in the town. They were allowed to look at and touch the precious 100-metre breaststroke gold from Moscow.

The pool has been given a £200,000 overhaul, including improved changing facilities and disabled access.

Goodhew, who looks little altered from his glory years, cut the ribbon and said: “Swimming is the most open-access sport. You can learn from three months old to 95.

“It's a lot of fun as well. I would like to congratulate you all for making the investment in this. It's about giving children the opportunity to have a healthier, better and more productive life.”

Paul Adams, headteacher, said: “We're very proud of our school and our pupils and it was a delight to show off both today. Mr Goodhew did some work with pupils from one of our feeder schools and is obviously a natural teacher.

“The pool is looking superb now and its refurbishment is another step in the incremental improvements we're making at the school.”

Neil Collins, chairman of governors, said the pool was used by 12 feeder schools in the area.

He said: “Financially, running a swimming pool at a school is always going to be challenging but we're committed at Long Stratton High to developing every area of the curriculum and having an up-to-date pool is key to us delivering on that.

“Having Duncan Goodhew perform the opening ceremony is an absolute honour and a real landmark for the school.”

The pool is named after Sybil Harker, a former high school governors' chairman, who donated a lump sum to get building work on the pool off the ground in the 1960s.


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