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A champion swimmer has said a permanent pool would be “even better” than the current proposals for a temporary facility in Seven Kings.

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Adam Whitehead, who has competed at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, was teaching a class of children how to swim at the new pool at Wanstead High School.

It will be open for another 10 weeks, aiming to host free swimming lessons for at least 1,000 primary school children.

Mr Whitehead said: “It’s about inspiring children to keep coming back and giving them water confidence and safety.

“In Redbridge less than a third of children can swim a length.

“It’s paramount that children feel safe in the water and can enjoy being around it for the rest of their lives. Everyone knows how great swimming is for fitness.”

The 12m pool is too small for competitive swimming but “perfect” for teaching.

Mr Whitehead, 33, added: “I know there’s talk of another temporary pool in Redbridge but a permanent one would be even better.”

Supported by the Amateur Swimming Association, Redbridge Council and Vision, the scheme is part of the Mayor of London’s Make a Splash programme.

After being used by schools in the day, it is opened to the rest of the community in the evening.

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