This year the
Peterborough Special Olympic Swimming Team has been selected as the recipients
of the Oundle School 24 hour non-stop charity swim. The swim is due to take
place from Saturday 28 February to Sunday 1 March with
eight Fifth to Upper Sixth Form (Years 11-13) pupils swimming in relays
throughout the day and night. Members of the Special Olympic team will swim alongside
the Oundle pupils for the first half hour providing an opportunity for them to
thank the pupils who are raising money for them.
William Roberts (15), son of Oundle School
Housemaster, Huw Roberts and Dr Joh Sydenham, who works in the School’s DT
department, started swimming lessons with the Oundle Otters, based at Oundle
School’s swimming pool, when he was four years old and now swims for the
Special Olympic team.
Charity swim organiser and
pupil, Alice Poulter (18) commented, “We
chose to raise funds for this amazing charity because it is very close to the
hearts of the swimming coaches at Oundle who have taught William from a very
young age. This charity provides the opportunity for swimmers with disabilities
to compete against other swimming teams. We aim as a team to cross the equivalent
of the English Channel in the space of the 24 hour period in a continuous
relay. We are very excited that a relay team from the Peterborough Special
Olympic Swimming team are going to do the first leg of the relay with us.”
William’s Mum, Joh commented, “William has Downs Syndrome and needed a little extra help to get him
started. Julie Clipstone, Teresa Black and all of the staff at Oundle Otters
provided fantastic support and encouragement, but in particular Carine Barron,
and Adie Black, who literally taught him hand over hand how to swim.”
Over the years William has progressed through his
swimming qualifications alongside his peers and now has numerous badges proudly
sewn on his swimming towel. He continues to swim every Saturday with the Otters
and helps Ed Tate coach one of the younger groups of swimmers.
In March 2014,
William joined the Peterborough Special Olympic Swimming Team, affiliated to the
City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS), training twice a week at the
Regional Pool. He has taken part in regional and national galas and has won
four gold, three silver and one bronze medal. He will soon take part in his
first European competition.
William is one
of twenty five members of the Peterborough Special Olympic Swimming Team, all
of whom have a learning difficulty and some with a physical disability as well.
The group has four important roles:
· It gives
the swimmers a chance to be part of a team, to feel a sense of pride and achievement, to enjoy the success of
winning, to learn to support each other in times of disappointment, and have
aspirations to improve, develop and succeed
· It helps
them to be fit and healthy
· It helps
them foster friendships and develop social skills and
· It is a
support network for the parents sharing information and problem solving the
many issues they have to face.
committee members, coaches and other helpers are volunteers and rely entirely
on charitable donations to fund attending galas and to buy equipment for
training. The swimmers attend four or five galas a year and every four years they
compete in the UK National Special Olympic Games. This year they are saving up
to buy the Infinity Start System with auditory and visual start signals to help
with competition training, especially for new team members.
Waitrose in Oundle kindly accepted the team as one of their ‘Community Matters’
charities and the Peterborough Special Olympic Team would like to thank all
those in the Oundle and District community, who so generously put in their
green tokens on their behalf.
Otters swimming lessons for children are held on a Monday and Friday after
School and Saturday mornings. Catering for all ages, including adults the pool
provides various lessons and activities during term time and in the holidays.
The 43.5 metre pool is open to the public through an annual membership. Full
details can be found at www.oundleschoolenterprises.org.uk or contact 01832 277208.
Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in
the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of
London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are
dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back
to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers
and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar
School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided
the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants
of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In
2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of
Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th
century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by
its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation
as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still
renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science
complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now
embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well
as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the
Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the
development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering
and philosophically, enabling pupils to
move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the
achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will
upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years,
including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion due to open April 2015.
There are currently 1110 pupils
on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the
Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children
aged 4 to 11.