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Simon Burns visit - 21st September 2010

Since January 2010, Water Polo coaches from Chelmsford Swimming Club have been voluntarily giving their time to coach the kids at Moulsham High School Water Polo skills both during Class time and as an after school club. This has, in turn, got students from Moulsham joining the water polo section at Chelmsford Swimming Club and the pathway from fun activity to competitive sport was complete.
A taster Water Polo session at Great Baddow High School proved a success and so it was agreed that this voluntary coaching would carry on at both schools this new academic year.

Through word of mouth of the greater good coming from the hard efforts of Dean Walker from Chelmsford Swimming Club, sportessex have become involved and are now part funding 8 week after school Water Clubs at both schools. For a nominal fee from each participating student and the free time given from the coaches and the schools letting the swimming pools for free, sportessex have agreed to fund the cost of the majority of the equipment needed to carry out the clubs at both schools which leaves more resources from the club to provide the pathway link in to a fit an active lifestyle for all kids involved.

Jim Messenger, the sportunlimited co-ordinator for sportessex has thrown his full support behind the project after a recent meeting between Chelmsford Swimming Club, Keith Onions: Head of PE at Moulsham High School and Katie Nicholson: Head of Girls PE at Great Baddow High. The school teachers explained how much the kids enjoyed and were looking forward to participating in the clubs funded by sportessex and expressed how much benefit the kids would get from taking part in the long run.

To celebrate that signing of the partnership between sportessex, Chelmsford Swimming Club, Moulsham High School and Great Baddow High School, a meet and greet evening was held at Riverside Swimming Pool to show off the talents of the kids that had already joined Chelmsford Water Polo Club through the sessions held at the schools thus far.

Simon Burns MP came along to celebrate the good work being done by all under his guise as a Minister for Health and, after talking to the children and the adults involved, expressed his delight in seeing so many people voluntarily helping children get fit and active and this set up and success of getting students away from TV and in to competitive sport is going to be relayed back to Prime Minister David Cameron who has already written to Dean Walker to wish him luck for the future.

Also in attendance was Michael Veasey: the Chairman of Chelmsford Swimming Club, Cllr Ray Ride from Chelmsford Borough Council and Jon Lyons: Head of Leisure at Chelmsford Borough Council. Some of the students from both schools and the club's Mini-Polo section (under 12's) had their photo taken to promote the partnership between sportessex and everyone else.

After the formal meeting had finished, the students and other kids from Chelmsford Water Polo Club got in to the pool to show off the skills learnt so far from the coaching of Dean Walker and finished with a game that highlighted the fun that can be had when getting fit.

Chelmsford Water Polo club holds its training sessions for under 18s every Tuesday at Riverside from 8pm to 9pm and both boys and girls are welcome. The under 12s Mini-Polo section trains from 7.15pm to 8pm in the learner pool at Riverside and for those adults that want to try it, training and games are from 9pm every Tuesday.

With the support of Cllr Ray Ride and Jon Lyons at Chelmsford Borough Council, Chelmsford Swimming Club, Moulsham High School and Great Baddow High School this course of clubs being backed and funded by sportessex should lead to a great team sport being introduced to both Schools and with Moulsham being ex Great Britain player Dean Walker's old school, it is a very pleasant feeling knowing others are going to benefit from such a great sport as water polo.

For further information on water polo at Chelmsford Swimming Club or if your school is interested in the scheme with sportessex , please email Dean Walker or Jim Messenger.
Middle Row of photo: Jim Messenger: sportunlimited co-ordinator for sportessex, Cllr Ray Ride, Katie Nicholson, Keith Onions, Simon Burns MP, Dean Walker, Jon Lyons, Michael Veasey: Chairman of Chelmsford Swimming Club. The kids are from Moulsham and Great Baddow High Schools and the Mini-Polo section.