PPA pool in comeback splash
Goggles unfogged and swim hats at the ready, the local community came together on Tuesday 4th June to celebrate the reopening of Penryn’s grandest little pool located at Penryn Primary Academy.
Originally opened in 1974 by Mayor Mr Roger Hunt, the 7m x 13m pool cost £7,000 to build (almost £66.5k in today’s money) and was built by parents and staff in evenings and on weekends. The then Headmaster Mr. Bray was the first person to dip his toes into its waters and since then three generations of local families have enjoyed using the local facility.
Mr Bray retired from the former Penryn Juniors in 1987. His family were proud to be present at the re-opening celebrations and Mr Bray’s daughter, Lydia, officially cut the ribbon, supported by Mr Bray's great grandson Y3 pupil Oliver. Music was provided by the Penryn Primary Academy choir who serenaded guests with songs from 'Mary Poppins'.
Over the course of four months, the 45 year old building has been lovingly stripped back to its original steel structure, ready to receive a new roof, new purpose-built changing rooms with showers and toilets; a new disabled changing facility, new air handling unit, new boilers, new lighting, new floor, and lots and lots of new paint.
The academy pool is a vital local community resource and is now used by over 1,000 local children each year, drawn from Penryn Primary Academy, neighbouring schools and a swim school. Thanks to generous funding from numerous benefactors, many more generations of school children will be able to access swimming lessons in a bright, modern, safe and hygienic environment.
Head of School James Hitchens, commented, “Being able to provide swimming lessons on our doorstep is extraordinary and we are extremely privileged at Penryn Primary Academy. This building provides not just a fun, healthy and inclusive sporting activity for all ages, but enables us to teach our children, quite literally, skills for life for many members of our community.”
Guest of honour Lydia presented the school with the Bill Bray Swimming Award which will be awarded each year to a pupil who has shown the greatest improvement in swimming throughout the academic year.
Pictured left to right: Mayor of Penryn Mr Wenmouth, Tracy Prissell, Administrator at Penryn Primary Academy and Mr James Hitchens, Head of School at Penryn Primary Academy
Pupils from Y2 will be the first children taking the plunge and, fair to say, are pretty excited at the watery prospect. Ellena said, “I love splashing with my friends and learning lots of new strokes.” Thomas added, “Learning to swim at school is really cool. It looks all bright and shiny now and I can’t wait for our lessons to start!”