Bid for inter-school galas

A Suffolk School is calling for state and independent schools to join them in their drive to increase competitive swimming between schools in the region.

A Suffolk School is calling for state and independent schools to join them in their drive to increase competitive swimming between schools in the region.

Ipswich High School for Girls offers swimming instruction and lessons for their pupils from as young as three years old through to the Sixth Form and their pupils have gained significant recognition for their swimming results.

The Junior School team recently competed in the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) Eight Counties Division in Sheffield, where they finished eleventh in the country.

However, Coach Julie Catchpole, said: “We would ideally like to be able to compete on a regular basis against local schools.

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“We have tried on a number of occasions to invite schools to compete, but have only received a handful of positive responses.

“We would love to see more schools taking the opportunity to compete. It is not about showing our swimming prowess, it is about welcoming other schools to compete on a local level.”

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The girls often take part in inter-school competitions in their 25 metre indoor pool at their site in Woolverstone, but they are hoping to encourage more schools to take part in their swimming galas.

Ctachpole said: “Swimming galas offer our girls a competitive platform. It offers our pupils an opportunity to put into practice all that they have learned in training and most importantly to meet pupils from other schools in a positive and worthwhile environment.

“Our pupils are very fortunate to have a competition standard pool on-site and they do appreciate the benefits that a short swim contributes to a positive attitude in the classroom.”

The school has held four swimming galas this term, the first time they have achieved that number. Colchester's Holmwood House, The Royal Hospital School, Felsted, Old Buckenham Hall and Orwell Park School have competed in recent competitions, but the school is hoping to welcome many more onto their site.

Catchpole said: “We would particularly like to invite the local state schools to take part in our galas as well. Many of the schools already use our pool in the summer terms for lessons, but they do not swim competitively.

“We welcome schools for training sessions and swimming galas, and we are always really pleased to invite new schools, whatever standard they may be at swimming.”

For schools interested in taking part in Swimming Galas at the Ipswich High School for Girls, or for those wishing to use the facility for training, please contact Fiona Brice (Junior and Primary) on 01473 780 201 or email, or Kirsty Evans (Senior and Secondary) on 01473 780 201 or email to

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