Save our pool plea at Beechwood PrimaryBy Laura Herbert
October 07, 2010
Parents and staff at a Woodley primary school are making a splash about trying to save their swimming pool.
Beechwood Primary is one of a few in the area to have kept its outdoor pool since the school was built around 50 years ago.
But the facility is now in need of repair and efforts are being made to revamp it before it is lost forever.
Parent Kerri French set up the PTA Swimming Pool Fundraising Team, which includes 10 parents and teachers.
They aim to raise around £20,000 during the next two years with a series of fundraising events before applying for a Lottery grant to match their figure.
Mrs French, of Howth Drive in Woodley, said: “It’s a real asset because a lot of primary schools built pools but over the years, because of costs and budgets, pools ended up becoming a bit of a weight around the schools’ budget.
“We have been lucky to keep ours going but it’s getting old and needs a lot of work. I wanted to get a team of parents together to try and save the pool.”
Pupils in all years use the pool at the Ambleside Close primary for two lessons a week between May and July.
The fundraising team also has the full support of headteacher Gordon Davies who firmly believes in teaching children to swim at a young age.
“Having the pool helps pupils learn a vital life skill, and it fits in with the school’s ethos of an active school,” he explained.
“We firmly believe in recreational and physical activity to motivate children.
“We want our children to be safe in the future and we believe learning to swim is right and if we have a pool on site it’s far better than wasting time travelling to and fro.”
Mr Davies added: “Swimming pools don’t make money unfortunately but they are an important recreational facility and if we don’t make the effort to teach people to swim there would be far more fatalities.
“When I came to Reading 10 years ago as a headteacher I couldn’t believe Year Six pupils were hugging the side of the pool and had no swimming experience whatsoever.”
The fundraising team is hosting a charity Tupperware party at the school on Wednesday, October 13, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. The school is also appealing to businesses for sponsorship to help reach its target.
For tickets to the Tupperware party or to donate, email Heather Harris at h.harris@beechwood. wokingham.sch.uk.
The team is also hosting a family Christmas crafts and card marking workshop on November 27 between 10.30am and 12.30pm. Entry is £3 per adult, £1.50 per child or £5 for a family.