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Trust Celebrates Pool's Grand Reopening with Paralympic Gold Medallist

The Basildon Academies Trust celebrated the grand opening of its newly refurbished Lower Academy swimming pool on June 24th, continuing its commitment to providing top-tier facilities for its students and the local community.

The refurbishment project, which took six months to complete, boasts state-of-the-art facilities and eco-friendly features. The project, undertaken by swimming pool specialists Centurion Leisure and construction company Herronway Ltd, included extensive upgrades to both the pool and the changing areas.  

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony with Paralympian Danny Crates

The highlight of the event was the ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Paralympian Gold Medallist Danny Crates. A fully qualified diving instructor, Crates not only formally opened the pool but also engaged with students in an inspiring talk and Q&A session. His presence added a touch of prestige to the celebration, motivating students and guests with his story of perseverance and success.

Community Engagement and Future Plans

The academy welcomes returning local primary schools and swimming clubs; such as Elite Swimming, who have already praised the new facilities. The upgraded pool promises to provide an exceptional environment for learning, training, and community events.

“The previous facilities were over 50 years old and in need of a huge upgrade. The work undertaken represents a significant capital investment project from our trust. The new state of the art pool and changing facilities will ensure that our current, and future students, along with our local community and clubs, are able to enjoy swimming here for another 50 years. I would like to thank our own Academy Operations Team, along with Centurion Leisure, Academy Estates Consultants and Herronway Ltd, for all their efforts and expertise in completing the project.” Gary Smith - CEO, The Basildon Academies Trust.

“We are thrilled with the results of the refurbishment. The new pool offers a warm, inviting atmosphere and is now one of the most impressive facilities in Essex,” said Alex Stewart, Managing Director and Founder of Billericay based Elite Swimming. “The feedback from our users has been overwhelmingly positive. The academy should be proud of this remarkable achievement.”

“It was a great privilege to officially open the refurbished pool at The Basildon Academies. Sport, recreation, fitness and wellbeing, has always played a significant part in my life.  Seeing the pool, which I have to say is more as you would expect to see at a high-end health club rather than a school, will give the students the opportunity to engage in sport and activity, at whatever level works best for them.” Danny Crates