Brondesbury Park school makes big splash at primary school swimming gala
- Credit: Giles Deards
More than 100 children from seven schools across Brent came together last week to make waves at the Brent Primary School Swimming Gala at Willesden Sports Centre.
The much-missed annual gala's return was welcomed by all involved after it could not go ahead last year due to Covid restrictions
The young local swimmers' efforts were even praised by double Olympic swimming champion Tom Dean.
Dean was once a pupil at Malorees Infant & Junior School in Brondesbury Park and it was his former school on Christchurch Avenue which emerged victorious for a third successive gala, beating the competition despite strong performances by other schools.
The winner of two swimming gold medals at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, sent a message after the Gala congratulating all swimmers who took part and praising his "old school's performance.
"It’s great to hear that so many children across Brent are enjoying swimming again," he said.
Children from Malorees, Ark Franklin, Salusbury, Sinai, St Joseph’s, Mora and Our Lady of Grace in Brent took part in races which included front crawl, back-stroke, breast-stroke, and Freestyle and Medley Relay boys' and girls' races.
Jane Hylton of Willesden Sports Centre said: “Our team wanted to make sure we put on a great event as the children love the gala and so many have missed out on swimming during the pandemic.
"Swimming is not just a curriculum expectation for schools but is a fantastic way for children to enjoy exercise.
"We would love more families to come enjoy the pools across Brent again”.
The event was made possible by sponsorship from 1Life and support from Brent Sports Partnership.
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Mike Cleary, Malorees Health and Wellbeing Lead and event organiser, said: “It was a brilliant atmosphere at the gala and the children had a fantastic time, with some very impressive performances and - more importantly - so many children taking part.
“Swimming is great for fitness and for children’s well-being. A big thank-you to everyone for taking part and we invite more schools to come join the event next year."
Girls' Butterfly winner Isla Deards said she and her fellow swimmers were "all really excited about the gala".
The 10-year-old added: "It's great fun to swim with so many children from other schools and to be cheered on.
"My favourite races were the eelay events even though we got beaten in one of them."
You can book swimming lessons or family swim time at Willesden Sports Centre at www.1life.co.uk/Willesden-Sports-Centre/swimming/