2009 World Triathlon Champion Alistair Brownlee and his brother Jonathan, reigning Under 23 World Triathlon Champion, today officially opened the newly-refurbished hydrotherapy swimming pool at Ravenscliffe High School & Sports College in Halifax.
The new state-of-the-art hydro-pool, which has been funded with the help of a £25,000 grant from BT and youth sports charity, The Lord’s Taverners, will provide a vital life enhancing facility for over 300 youngsters in the region to use every week.
BT Ambassadors, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, joined pupils from Ravenscliffe High School & Sports College to test the multi-sensory pool, which has been fitted with special ceiling and underwater lighting that can be operated via floating switches. The pool also has a dedicated corner which provides the therapeutic benefits of a Jacuzzi system.
The school’s hydrotherapy pool allows students with very complex difficulties, associated physical disabilities and acute circulatory needs to access a warm, stimulating environment where they can develop their own movements and mobility in the water. The pool was originally installed over 30 years ago and required essential refurbishment to meet growing demand from pupils and the wider local community.
Today’s opening of the re-furbished pool was the second of 12 new ‘sensory areas’ being installed in special schools across the country as part of BT’s three-year partnership with The Lord’s Taverners. The two organisations are investing over £400,000 to enhance the lives of disabled youngsters and leave a legacy in communities around the UK.
The first sensory play area of the partnership was unveiled earlier this summer when multiple Paralympic medal winner Oscar Pistorious opened the sensory play room at The Royal School, Manchester at The Seashell Trust. Having taken on the baton from Pistorius, Yorkshire’s Brownlee brothers spent time with youngsters at the school, giving them some swimming tips before joining the rest of the students at a special assembly.
Ravenscliffe High School & Sports College provides education for 126 students aged 11 – 19 years with a range of special educational needs, including learning difficulties, autism, sensory impairment and emotional, behavioral and physical disabilities.
Speaking at the opening of the pool Alistair Brownlee said, “Both Jonny and I have swum in some pretty unusual places but this has to be the most special of them all. It’s been an incredible experience to see first-hand the huge benefits the pool can bring the kids and what a positive impact it makes on their lives.”