TWO youngsters from Worthing have been presented with top swimming awards by Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew.
Maxwell Bartlett and Charlie Price both won Achiever of the Year accolades at this year’s Southern Water Learn to Swim awards.
Maxwell, six, of Offington Lane, has swimming lessons with the Littlehampton-based Swimbabies. His teacher, Lucy Keefe, said: “At first, Maxwell could not enter the water without crying, shaking and physically freezing with fear.
“Six months later he swims front crawl with a shark fin float, puts his face in the water to blow bubbles and is able to float and roll onto his back.He does all of this with an amazing smile and a mature and positive attitude.”
Charlie, seven, of Howard Street, has swimming lessons at Worthing’s Aquarena.
His teacher, Christine Pilcher, said: “When Charlie first came to swimming lessons he was extremely nervous and frightened of the water.
“However, he did not let his fear stop him swimming and each week he’s worked really hard to overcome it.”
The boys were among 29 swimmers who were nominated for the awards and received medals and goodie bags while they were cheered on by their parents, swimming instructors, siblings and friends.
The awards are given to children who have shown great courage in overcoming particular difficulties or for exceptional performance while learning to swim.
Duncan Goodhew said: “It is great to see so many children who have learnt to swim with help from Southern Water.
“I have been fortunate to have had so much enjoyment from swimming in my life and it’s nice to see these youngsters so enthusiastic about the sport.”
The Learn to Swim scheme, which supports lessons at more than 80 pools and clubs across the region, has taught more than 600,000 children to swim since it began in 1992.