SWIMMER Robyn Stanhope has made a splash in a video which encourages a love of reading and writing in Portsmouth.
The 13-year-old, who is a member of Portsmouth Victoria Synchronised Swimming Club, was filmed reading a line from Portsmouth poet laureate Sam Cox’s new work Discover the Writer in You while underwater at the deep end of the swimming pool at Horizon Leisure Centre, Waterlooville.
Children from Craneswater Junior School, in Southsea, The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Frank Jonas and Sam were also filmed reading out lines of the poem in different parts of the city.
The video of the poem, which talks about Portsmouth as a great waterfront city, was commissioned by the council and has been posted on YouTube.
Robyn’s mum, Annie Stanhope, said: ‘She was the first in the queue to get involved and thoroughly enjoyed taking part.’
Parts of Southsea beach, Fratton Park, Charles Dickens’ Birthplace, Buckland, and The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Plaque, in Southsea, were also filmed.
Sam, 38, of Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘What inspired me to write this poem is the literary heritage and the history of Portsmouth.
‘There are many things about the city that I wanted to capture in my writing including the coastline, the sea and the way the light falls on the water.
‘The video came out brilliantly.
‘I like the fact it was made in black and white. It makes it feel timeless.
‘The idea was to try and involve people in the city with the poem.
Paul Bunker, who produced the video, wanted children to get involved so they could enjoy themselves and learn about literature at the same time.
When planning the video, Paul considered water to be an important aspect, due to the historical inheritance of the city’s waterfront.
‘People of Portsmouth across the community made this video special,’ he said.
‘I wanted to help promote literature in the city but in a contemporary and fun way. I hope that visitors inside and outside Portsmouth will have their eyes open to our rich literary history.’
Emma Waterman, year six teacher at Craneswater Junior School, said: ‘The children enjoyed doing it and we are proud that this was the work of a Portsmouth poet from a Portsmouth point of view.’