A young swimmer with cerebral palsy from Andover has won the Southern Water Learn to Swim Achiever of the Year award.
Five-year-old Thomas Bryant only started swimming lessons at Andover Leisure Centre in November 2012, but he has already come a very long way for someone so young.
Since his first lesson, Thomas has learnt to kick over 5m on his front and back with a noodle floating support. He can roll onto his back and float from a seated entry, and can manoeuvre himself from his wheelchair to the water without any help.
Thomas’ swimming teacher, Cynthia Cannon, said: “With determination and unbridled enthusiasm, Thomas has made incredible progress in just five months. His competitive spirit and infectious smile has made him a favourite with his classmates and teachers alike.”
Southern Water’s Learn to Swim scheme sponsors swimming lessons for about 38,000 children each year across the area, including Andover Leisure Centre. The Achiever Awards are a way to recognise the excellence of children learning to swim against the odds.
The event was attended by Olympic gold medallist and Learn to Swim ambassador Duncan Goodhew MBE, who presented Thomas with a medal and certificate.
Andover Leisure Centre’s swimming coordinator Tammy Dewhurst said: “We are all very proud of what Thomas has achieved in such a short amount of time. He is a very promising swimmer, and a determined little boy.”
To find out more about swimming lessons for children call 01264 347121.