Excited, St. Saviour’s Pupils Dream Olympic Swimming Medals
THEY were all brimming with smiles. Most of them, who have been going to clubs and other schools to swim, were happy that finally they have a swimming pool they can all their own.
Indeed, Tuesday, April 28, was a glorious day for students of St. Saviour’s Nursery and Primary School, Ebute Metta, who witnessed the commissioning of an ultra-modern swimming pool built for the school by philanthropist, Dr. Kessington Adebutu.
The students could not wait to dive into the pool; some of them were seen demonstrating and twiddling beside the pool in excitement when their mates were called upon to have the first taste of the magnificent pool.
Theirs was an excitement borne out of the realisation that now they have a place to practice the sport they love. Already, some of them have started dreaming of becoming world and Olympic champions.
An excited Chukwudi Kalu, who took part in a demonstration race during the commissioning of the swimming pool, told The Guardian that the day marked the beginning of his march to stardom in the sport he loves.
The eight-year-old Kalu is currently in Primary Three Red and he reckons that with the new swimming pool he would become a very strong swimmer before he leaves the school.
He said, “Right now, I train at the Ikoyi Club, Airport Hotel and the Teslim Balogun Stadium. But with this swimming pool life has become easier, as I now have a place that I can train without restriction.
“I have not started competing against others, but I have been to competitions to watch others swim. I can assure you that with the help of our teachers, I will soon begin to go for competitions.”
Emeka Egbunam, a Primary Six pupil believes that the swimming pool has offered him a chance to correct some of the defects in his performance.
According to Egbunam, who dreams of one day representing Nigeria in international competitions, “I want to improve on my breast strokes and back strokes. These are the areas that I am not satisfied with and I believe with this swimming pool and hard work, I can become good in all aspects of swimming.”
Egbunam, who currently trains at the Ikoyi Club, says he would now find a way of making maximum use of his school’s new pool to develop his game to international level. “My teachers always tell us that hard work pays and now that I have a very good incentive I will work hard to become the best in the sport.”
11-year-old Toluwani, who is in Primary Six Blue, is so excited by the new swimming pool that she cannot stop thanking the donor, Dr. Kessington Adebutu, for his gesture.
She said: “I want to thank the sponsor for thinking of doing something like this in our school. He is a good daddy and I pray that God will continue to bless him. I promise that we will use the swimming pool very well.”
Earlier in his address during the commissioning of the swimming pool, Dr. Adebutu, said he decided to sponsor the project because “swimming is a healthy, recreational activity for people of all ages; which I am sure the pupils will derive their own dosage in good time.
“It is a low-body impact activity with many physical and mental health benefits. It keeps the heart rate up, but takes some of the impact of stress off your body, builds endurance and supports muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.”
Dr. Adebutu also disclosed his affinity to St. Saviour’s School, saying, “I chose St. Saviour’s School for this project because many of my children and grandchildren passed through this school and they are wonderful. It has been a blessing to my family.”
To the chairman of the board of trustees of the school, Tom Ogboi, the commissioning of the swimming pool marks a new chapter in the history of St. Saviour’s School.
The elated Ogboi said: “We offer an all round education here. With the donation of the swimming pool, we can now add to the portfolio of life skills, which we teach our children here. From this term, swimming will be incorporated into the curriculum of the school as a core subject such that every child will have a swimming lesson during school hours in the school.”
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