Award honour for young swimmers

Camryn Gibson and Owen Hughes with Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew
Camryn Gibson and Owen Hughes with Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew

TWO BRAVE water babies have been given an award by Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew.

Owen Hughes and Camryn Gibson won Achiever of the Year accolades at this year’s Southern Water Learn to Swim awards.

Owen, from Hailsham, is eight-years-old and has swimming lessons at Freedom Leisure in Uckfield.

Owen had a rare brain tumour when he was younger and had two major operations and numerous sessions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy which left him with some brain damage.

Camryn, from Jellicoe Close, Eastbourne, is five. She has swimming lessons with Anne Bickmore Swimming.

She overcame a fear of the water to become a confident swimmer.

They were among 24 winners who were nominated for the awards and received medals and goodie bags while they were cheered on by their proud parents, swimming instructors, siblings and friends.

The awards are given to children who have shown great courage in overcoming particular difficulties or for exceptional performance while learning to swim.

Southern Water went to great lengths to ensure that the event, held at Bewl Water Reservoir, on Sunday (June 19) was a fun day for all, helped by children’s entertainer Mr Pineapple Head.

Duncan Goodhew said, “It is great to see so many children who have learnt to swim with help from Southern Water.

“I have been fortunate to have had so much enjoyment from swimming in my life and it’s nice to see these youngsters so enthusiastic about the sport.”

The Learn to Swim scheme, which supports lessons at more than 80 pools and clubs across the region, has taught more than 600,000 children to swim since it began in 1992.