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Friday 18th March saw Winchester City Penguins Swimming Club hold its second Inclusive Primary Schools Gala for children with additional needs at Kings School. This event provides a fun swimming gala experience in an environment that suits and supports different needs and abilities.

Participating children came from six primary schools: Otterbourne, John Keble, Weeke, Winnall, Harestock and Shepherds Down. Some children swam lengths races whilst others swam widths, with or without assistance.  The gala concluded with some highly-competitive inter-school relays.

Medals, certificates and goody bags were presented by Winchester Mayor Angela Clear and Peter Hull MBE, ex-paralympian swimmer. The gala was kindly supported by Kings School, Winchester Round Table and Sainsbury's. A huge thank you to our own volunteers and helpers, and to those from Kings School who made sure that the community event could run - as always it couldn't be done without you! A special thank you to Liz Hatfield, Emma Back and Thelma Hawkings who did all the hard work before the day itself to get the event up and running!

WCPSC chief executive, Sam Fulling, commented, “We are very grateful for the grant from Winchester Round Table and to King’s School and Sainsbury's for the generous support in helping us put on this event. Providing fun and competitive opportunities for young sporting participants in the community whatever their ability is a key goal for WCPSC.  I am sure the swimmers and teachers will join me in thanking all the other volunteers for another brilliant event.”

“Swimming is the UK’s most popular participation sport (according to Sport England’s research).  More than 2.5 million people swim at least once a week for health, fitness and general enjoyment and Penguins aim to provide access to the water to as many children and adults in the community as possible regardless of their ability or disability. Our only regret is that we don’t have more pool space to offer the opportunity to more people. The opportunity for a new facility at Bar End is an exciting one and we only we hope that enough swimming pool space is included to meet existing and future demand.”

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