Hampshire school pupils launch £20,000 crowdfunding bid to save school pool

CHILDREN are fighting to save their swimming pool used by pupils for around 30 years.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 5:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 10:17 pm

Teachers at Clanfield Junior School have been been coaching children to swim at its 15 metre pool for three decades.

But the school faces making the agonising decision to shut the facility unless it can raise at least £20,000.

Now pupils are taking on a crowdfunding bid to ensure they can keep swimming at school.

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Clanfield Junior School need to raise a minimum of £20,000 to replace the lining and a new pump of their school pool. Pictured is: (l-r) Daniel Jones (11), Anna Keefe (9), Francesa Ellis (10) and Oliver Meadows (11). Picture: Sarah Standing (160719-1374)

Year 6 pupil Daniel Jones, 11, said: ‘I’m part of the after-school swimming club which has really helped to improve my swimming. It will be very upsetting if the pool has to go.’

Classmate Oliver Meadows, 11, added: ‘I would feel very annoyed for the children arriving at the school who wouldn’t get the same opportunities to swim that I had.’

Full costs are not yet known but they need at least £20,000 to replace the pool lining and provide a new pump.

Head teacher Sara Staggs said: ‘It will be heartbreaking for the children to lose the pool.

(back l-r) Barry Lamacraft, chair of governors, and Sara Staggs, headteacher, with (front l-r) Daniel Jones (11), Anna Keefe (9), Francesa Ellis (10) and Oliver Meadows (11). Picture: Sarah Standing (160719-1314)

‘Providing the opportunity to swim is a statutory part of the curriculum and I’m passionate that every child should get this chance. If the pool goes then we will have to transport children to an outside provider.

‘Most of the children here have access to the sea and it’s vital they learn how to swim.’

Staff are concerned that a generation of children may lose a potentially vital skill.

Chair of governors Barry Lamacraft said: ‘It’s essential all children learn to swim. Who knows how many children have got themselves out of difficulty by using the skills they learnt here in this pool.

(l-r) Daniel Jones (11), Anna Keefe (9), Francesa Ellis (10) and Oliver Meadows (11) are taking part in a sponsored swim to raise money to save the school's pool. Picture: Sarah Standing (160719-1374)

Many of the children are taking part in fund raising activities including a sponsored swim, underwater swim and pool gymnastics.

Year 4 pupil Anna Keefe, nine, said: ‘Our school wouldn’t be the same without our pool and hopefully people can help.’

The school have established a Save Our Pool Committee and are looking at other fund raising ideas including cycling Lands End to John O’Groats and using the school field for a festival. Anyone who would like to donate to the cause can do so at gofundme.com/f/clanfield-junior-school-save-our-pool