First festival on cards for Crown Pools

SWIMMING: Youngsters from across Suffolk could soon be getting their opportunity to take part in the first Ipswich-based swimming festival.The concept forms part of the Sport England Active Sport initiative – intended to encourage more children into properly supervised sports in their home towns.

By Debbie Watson

SWIMMING

YOUNGSTERS from across Suffolk could soon be getting their opportunity to take part in the first Ipswich-based swimming festival.

The concept forms part of the Sport England Active Sport initiative – intended to encourage more children into properly supervised sports in their home towns.


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Although only in the consultation stage at present, the Ipswich festival is being planned to take place at Crown Pools in the early part of October.

It will be run by a co-ordinated festival team and all youngsters will be selected from schools and clubs.

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"We intend to find between 25 and 30 children who are in years four, five and six at school," commented Ian Brown, sports development officer for Ipswich Borough Council.

"Our plan is to bring them together by invite and to have a festival involving various races. It will put club swimmers alongside those who have never competed before and will give coaches a chance to see what potential they have."

Festivals of this nature have already been held in other parts of the country under the new scheme, and Waveney has recently completed a successful version on which Ipswich will be basing its plans.

"It's all part of a national attempt to encourage children to realise their potential, and to make sure that they have the opportunity to access sporting facilities.

"As a follow-up to the festival we will then be asking some – or all – of the swimmers to attend a camp. Again, the purpose of this is to make use of the potential that is among our young people."

Brown added: "Hopefully we'll pave the way for more youngsters accessing sport, more youngsters reaching their potential, and more coaches and volunteers being attracted into helping children achieve their goals."

Full details of the festival are expected to be announced by the Sports Development team next month.

The festival and camp could then lead on to some of the more able youngsters attending events like the Active Sport Talent Camp – held earlier this summer at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

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