A champion role model dived at the chance to inspire young swimmers from Ellesmere Primary at their annual gala.
Freya Anderson, a world junior champion who will represent Team GB at next year’s Commonwealth Games, is an Ellesmere Titans Swimmer and studies at Ellesmere College.
So it wasn’t far for the 16-year-old superstar to go when she dropped in to present youngsters with medals they had earned at the North West Academies Trust’s (NWAT) annual Christmas Cracker Swimming Gala for pupils in Years 3 and 4.
Andrew Everett, headteacher at Ellesmere Primary which is part of NWAT, said: “We were very proud to welcome Freya and I’m sure meeting her was a huge inspiration for all our pupils.
“To see how much she has already achieved at such a young age cannot fail to have caught the imagination, and we hope the children will want to emulate Freya’s commitment and determination to succeed in whatever they choose.
“Our pupils performed very well at the gala – Freya was very impressed with the quality of swimming on display!
“It was a fantastic event and another example of the excellent link the schools within NWAT have to provide our children with a broad variety of sporting activities.”
Freya, who specialises in 100m freestyle, has won gold at junior world and European championships and was named ‘Emerging Swimmer of the Year’ by British Swimming in 2016.
She stormed to her first senior British title in April this year, and made her senior debut at the World Championships in Hungary three months later – finishing a superb 12th.
She has already been selected for the Team GB squad to take part in the Commonwealth Games at Queensland next April.
But Freya was happy to interrupt her busy schedule to watch the pupils – also from Delamere Academy near Northwich, Oak View at Winsford and St Martin’s of Chester – at the annual gala which was staged at Ellesmere Primary’s own pool.
All the schools are part of NWAT, and work together to implement an innovative programme of competitive sport which is designed to raise confidence, improve fitness and teach young people how winning and losing should be treated with equal importance.
Steve Docking, NWAT CEO, said: “The gala was wonderful and to see the children compete with such enthusiasm and commitment was a pleasure.
“We are very grateful to Freya for lending her support to the event, and hopefully meeting one of the best female swimmers in the world will inspire the children further on their own swimming journey.”