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We need your help to save our school Swimming Pool.
Across Staffordshire we have significantly less access to swimming pools than is needed for our population. (In fact we are over 1000sqm of pool space short.) This is particularly acute in Uttoxeter where we risk only having one pool in our town.
For this very reason back in 1974, the Uttoxeter community came together to raise sufficient funds to build an indoor 17 metre x 7metre swimming pool at Thomas Alleyne's. Since then thousands of children from the age of 5 to 18, have learnt to swim in our pool. Over the years the school has supported community use of our pool ensuring it has been open in the evenings and at weekends. Every Saturday morning prior to closure, over 100 children were able to make use of the pool to learn to swim and have been doing so for over 10 years.
As a school, we share our facilities with our local community at all possible opportunities. Our swimming pool has ensured that many young people and adults have had the opportunity to learn to swim. It has also been the venue for numerous swimming galas.
At a time when Adam Peaty is representing Great Britain in swimming, it would be a loss to see the pool, which is based at the heart of his home town, close permanently. He has inspired many to swim in our area, and yet the facility has been unavailable for 7 months.
We have been working tirelessly to secure a significant proportion of the funding we need to improve the fabric of the building and to upgrade the mechanical services. For instance, we have successfully secured £124,000 from the Education Funding Agency to replace the swimming boilers. We now need to raise funds for the changing rooms, air-handling units, pool side pipework and plant upgrade. The showers are beyond repair and the changing facilities are currently not fit for use. We are also working with East Staffordshire Borough council to get the support we need to keep the pool open but we need your support.
In order to allow us to continue to offer this resource to our local community and to teach children to swim, we need to raise £100,000 to refurbish the pool.
If we are successful in this bid, our pool will become a sustainable facility utilised once again by the local community at the weekends and evenings. We would be able to recommence swimming lessons during the day for first, middle and high school students and return to our regular galas.
Here's why so many people feel we need to save our pool:
‘As a swimmer, it’s great to have the chance to show off all of my efforts to get to where I am now. It’s also great to watch all of the non-swimmers and less confident swimmers progress and to be competitive in a sport that’s new to them.’ Jenson Hulbert, a current Year 12 student, House Swimming Captain and national swimmer.
'Dove Valley ASC has used the Thomas Alleyne's High School Pool for a number of years as it's Swim School catering for young swimmers in their formative years. It is small and friendly, allowing swimmers and parents alike to have confidence at this early stage. Our Teachers find the pool excellent as a lot of time is spent in the water with swimmers giving them additional confidence. Having parents close on poolside also adds confidence to the swimmers.
'To lose this facility would be a retrograde step for DVASC, stopping the most important roadway for new swimmers. It is imperative that swimmers are taught correctly at these early stages.'
John Plant Dove Valley Swimming Club
DVASC is Swim Mark accredited club, ensuring that all our swimmers and activities are carried out in a professional manners. Parents can be assured that their children are safe.
‘We have run an after-school swimming session for staff on a Friday for many years. This has provided an important well-being service to reduce stress and is open to all members of staff.’ Sarah Jones, staff swimming club leader.
‘I'm in a privileged position within the school where I get to see the varying abilities of our pupils in regards to swimming. Over the past 7 years, the standard of swimmers coming into our school has fallen and there is a higher percentage of non-swimmers each September. We pride ourselves on the fact that no child has left Thomas Alleyne’s without being able to swim 25m and all have a basic idea on how to help somebody if they were in trouble.
‘Swimming is a life skill that no child should go without. All children should have the opportunity to learn in a safe and supervised environment and hopefully have the ability to stay safe in and around water through the rest of their lives. Without a pool at Thomas Alleyne’s, the ability to learn and develop the essential & potentially lifesaving ability to swim is being denied to the young people of Uttoxeter.’ Helen James, Life Guard and swimming teacher
'We're a keen swimming family (three of us are members of our local Dove Valley Amateur Swimming Club, including myself!) My youngest was having lessons with our club's swim school at the TAHS swimming pool when it closed and I was also learning to teach. It was a real shame, as despite trying very hard, the club's Swim School has been unable to find an alternative suitable venue. This is a big disappointment for: the kids learning to swim, I know my little girl missed her swimming lessons; the older kids, who had been gaining valuable volunteer experiences helping to teach the young kids; the families, who now have to search for comparable teaching and the club, who's main source of young swimmers was their swim school. I sincerely hope that this local teaching facility will re-open soon.' Parent and member of Dove Valley Swim School Helen McPherson
‘The pool has enabled Thomas Alleyne's to provide water polo and triathlon to pupils both of which are Olympic sports that could not be delivered without a pool. The after-school clubs we ran proved popular with pupils and attracted pupils who weren't already swimmers to come and get involved.’ Ian Cartwright, Triathlon coach.
‘Thomas Alleyne's swimming pool has been invaluable for enabling young competitive swimmers to train and compete. The facility is vital to provide pool time to swimmers at a competitive level. I myself used the pool each week in the build up to the national championships.’ Laura Evans, national swimming champion.