Honoury member of the University of Bath, Ellie Simmonds, gave a Swimming lesson to children from Bathwick St Mary Primary school yesterday (22nd May) as part of a nationwide tour to encourage youngsters to take part in this year’s Sainsbury’s school games. The regional finals for the West of England will be taking place at the University at the start of July and the four-time Paralympic Swimming Champion who competed in the games in 2006 urged school children to get involved with sport, saying “I started swimming and did other sports from such a young age and I think it’s really important for any kid to be involved in sport.”
Returning to Bath, Simmonds had praise for the new London 2012 legacy pool installed at the university adding “I know that it [the pool] recently got refurbished and it’s only been back open a month, so for kids from local primary schools or local secondary schools having facilities like this to compete at and to represent their school at, is great”. The Paralympic star also had praise for the games sponsors Sainsbury’s, commenting “I love working with Sainsbury’s.
“I’ve worked with them for quite a few years now, working with them in the local Sainsbury’s school games. Then there’s also the national event happening which I’m looking forward to being a part of”. Simmonds is also a fan of the active kids vouchers scheme run by the supermarket, saying “it’s great that it gives them [schools and clubs] even more equipment to use without having to pay anything”.
The swimmer was also pleased to be giving a lesson in the Spa city saying that “it’s always great when I’m coming back [to Bath]” after receiving an honoury degree in Law from the University in 2013.
The Paralympian’s personal goals are currently focussed on this year’s World Swimming Championships in Glasgow and the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Simmonds has recently moved to Manchester, the location of GB’s high performance centre for para-swimming, and said so far “it’s going really well”.
Sainsbury’s is committed to encouraging and enabling inclusive school sport. As well as supporting the Sainsbury’s School Games, the retailer has donated over £150 million worth of equipment and experiences through its Active Kids scheme since it began in 2005.
Photo credits: The Press Association