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Sport / Olympian inspires kids to take swimming lessons

Olympian Hannah Miley with kids from Sound Primary and Anderson High schools at Clickimin on Friday.

TRIPLE Olympian Hannah Miley made a splash at the Clickimin swimming pool on Friday morning when she gave a masterclass to celebrate Shetland’s role as the UK’s most northerly provider of swimming lessons for youngsters.

The 29-year-old Commonwealth-winning swimmer joined pupils from Sound Primary School and Anderson High School on Friday to mark Shetland Recreational Trust’s progress in delivering Scottish Swimming’s Learn to Swim Framework, an initiative that benefits 900 youngsters locally.

With an estimated 40 per cent of children still unable to swim by the time they leave primary school, the national swimming association aims – with financial help from Scottish Water – to give swimming lessons to 100,000 kids across the country by 2020.

Miley said: “Being the special guest of the day at Clickimin pool was a real honour. It was such a joy seeing the local children have fun in the water as they learn this key life skill.

“I learned to swim in my local club in Inverurie, which I got to know thanks to the council lessons that I took part in. So it just goes to show that there really is so much value in having a well-developed and well-taught grassroots programme in place, such as this.”

Miley has competed on the international swimming scene since 2005, becoming 400m IM Commonwealth Champion in 2010 and 2014 and representing Great Britain at three consecutive Olympic Games.

Recreational trust manager James Johnston added: “Having Hannah Miley join our community for the day and meet everyone was very exciting and really motivated the youngsters from Sound and Anderson schools.

“It’s so important for everyone on the islands to know that their children are safe and competent in and around the water – as we’re surrounded by it here.”