Eastbourne Swimming Club’s pre-Christmas community event finished with a flourish at the Sovereign Centre this year as 14 junior Sea Cadets passed parts of their Royal Navy swimming test.
In 2011, the club was awarded the coveted Community Event of the Year award for providing a series of free swimming lessons to more than 40 pupils from Langney Primary School.
In 2012, a similar project ran with children from schools in Eastbourne and Seaford.
This year, ESC worked with Eastbourne’s Junior Sea Cadets providing pool time and swimming lessons to take the Royal Navy swimming test, which Cadets must pass before being allowed to ‘put to sea’.
The Cadets, aged 10 and 11, attended the sessions where they discussed life-saving techniques and practised for the four elements of the test.
Test night came round very quickly and the Cadets lined up beside the pool, in front of a very enthusiastic crowd of supporters, including Eastbourne Sea Cadets’ Chief Commanding Officer, Lt Juniper and Caroline Ansell, the prospective Conservative MP for Eastbourne.
Caroline said, “I’m really excited to see life skills like these being taught to local children by local clubs which are run by local volunteers. To see two of these organisations working together, with the Sea Cadets swimming alongside Swimming Club Squad members, gave me a real buzz. I want to offer as much support as I can.”
All the Cadets passed the distance and survival elements of the test, and most completed the whole test.