Courageous Hastings swimmers given top prize by Southern Water


Three courgeous swimming siblings who lost their mum to a terminal illness are to be given a top award at this year’s Southern Water Swim Achiever Awards presented by former Olympic swimming gold medalist Duncan Goodhew.

Harry, Joe, and Chloe Stevens, from Redmayne Drive, Hastings, have swimming lessons at Freedom Leisure, Summerfields.

Harry, 15, Joe, 13, and Chloe, nine, will receive an award at the cermeony taking place Sunday at Bewl Water, Lamberhurst, Kent.

The three siblings were nominated for their perseverance with swimming after their mother Jane passed away last summer following a terminal illness.

Their swimming teacher Ruth Heyes said: “Harry, Joe and Chloe are a credit to both Summerfields Swim School and to their parents. Through probably the most adverse conditions any family could endure, they have continued to maintain a sense of normality and routine in their lives through swimming. As an instructor I am very proud to have the pleasure of teaching them all and take great pleasure in watching them develop their swimming skills further.”

Two other super swimmers from the borough will also receive awards. Isabella Hall, five, from Athalstan Road, Hastings and Maddison Smith, eight, also from St Leonards will also receive their awards at Bewl Water on Sunday.

Isabella’s swimming teacher Susan Spinks said: “Isabella has a condition which restricts her use of her arms. Despite this, she tries very hard and absolutely loves her lessons. Swimming has done Isabella and her confidence a world of good. She is becoming a happy little swimmer.”

Maddison’s swimming teacher Trevor Spink, said: “Maddison has a painful and debilitating condition which causes fluid retention in her feet and ankles. Swimming is very therapeutic and her new found sense of fulfilment, enjoyment and participation has greatly boosted her self-confidence.”

The awards are given to children who have shown great courage in overcoming particular difficulties or for exceptional performance.

Each year, the clubs that take part in the scheme are invited to nominate one child to receive an Achiever of the Year award. The five Hastings swimmers are members of Silverdale Swim School.