Olympian Melanie Marshall Launches Make a Splash in Croydon

Wednesday 24 October 2012 at 15:24


A temporary swimming pool has been built at a north Croydon school with the aim of teaching over 1,000 people to swim and improve their skills in the water this autumn. 
The project at Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School has been made possible thanks to support from Croydon Council, Pro Active South London and the Pears Foundation.
Yesterday, the pool was officially launched by one of the UK’s most prolific swimming medallists, Melanie Marshall. 
Melanie said: “I’m really excited to be in Croydon at this fantastic temporary pool. It’s a really impressive facility which will make a big difference to the community. 
“Swimming is an extremely important life skill to learn and it’s also great fun. I’d like to encourage everyone to come down to Virgo Fidelis to enjoy the pool while it’s here.”
The pool has been built as part of the Make a Splash programme. This is an initiative of the Mayor of London’s wider sports legacy programme, which aims to create inspiring opportunities for Londoners to participate in sport as a legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is sponsored by British Gas, the ASA and Thames Water.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "This fantastic mobile swimming pool is part of my ongoing aim to deliver a long lasting sporting legacy from the Games and so it's great news that it has now arrived at Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School in Croydon. Now is a perfect time to build on the momentum of our golden summer, helping Londoners of all ages and abilities to get involved in sport. We've all been inspired by the awesome performances of Team GB, so I urge people in Croydon to make the most of this great pool and take the plunge themselves."
Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: “Croydon scored a double success this year by coming top in both the London Youth Games and the London Disability Youth Games. We are keen to see that record of achievement continue, and it is by investing in projects like this one that we are investing in the sporting future of the borough as a whole.”
The 12x6m covered and heated pool was built and is managed by Total Swimming. It will remain at Virgo Fidelis School, Upper Norwood, until 13 December 2012.
During weekdays the pool is used for school swimming lessons, but is open to the whole community after school and on Saturday mornings. There will also be week-long intensive courses available during the half term holidays, commencing 29th October. Sessions are just £2 each. It is anticipated that over 1,000 people will use the pool while it is in Croydon.
British Gas brand director, Susie Plume, said: “British Gas is passionate about getting the nation swimming, so we’re very excited to be involved with Make a Splash and bringing swimming to the community of Croydon. 
“During the first three years of our partnership with British Swimming we’ve seen the benefits and enjoyment that swimming can bring to communities. I hope that everyone will have a fantastic time using the pool at Virgo Fidelis School.”
Melanie Marshall is a record-breaking swimmer who became England’s most prolific woman competitor at a single Commonwealth Games when, in 2006, she won six medals, overtaking the record of June Croft, Karen Pickering and Karen Legg.
She was at Virgo Fidelis fresh from completing a 280 mile charity fundraising cycle in Zambia, which aims to raise money for Sport In Action, a non-government funded organisation that inspires change within impoverished communities.
For more details information about the project, including how to book, please press here

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