• " I liked drama, D&T and meeting new friends. I'm also looking forward to the science lessons."
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  • " I love the fact that we are encouraged to be more independent in secondary school."
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Swimming sensation, Ella

Learner Ella Williams qualified for the British Swimming Nationals in Sheffield this year but this was not without its costs.

Mrs Samantha Williams, Ella's mum, was discussing the costs and time required to support Ella’s dedication to her sport with her P.E. teacher Jon Blackford at a parents’ evening. Training takes place 6 days a week for Ella and she is in the pool by 5.30am. There are also travel costs and overnight accommodation expenses to consider. Ella’s mum funds her competitions’ costs and her dad pays for her training.

Mr Blackford said: “With individual sports like swimming it is difficult to raise funds through the usual ways such as local business logos on team strips or bag packing at local supermarkets. I did some research and found Sport Wales were sponsoring a pupil at another school.”

Jon passed the details to Ella's mum and Ella is now in receipt of £600 which will go towards her next competition costs.

Mr Blackford added: “Ella has also given her time to help Sophie Walker learn to swim. Sophie has cerebral palsy and whilst she was comfortable in the water, she was struggling to float and master the co-ordination required. Ella got into the water with Sophie and spent the time needed to teach Sophie to swim. This action can now be used towards Ella’s BTEC sports coaching qualification.”

Ella said: “It took several weeks for Sophie to learn the skills. She can now confidently swim a width of the pool.”

Michelle Hughes, Sophie’s sister, said: “I am thrilled that Sophie has learnt to swim. Ella is such a kind girl to spend her time teaching her this valuable skill.”

Ella added: “I have always loved swimming and want to encourage others to enjoy the water. I really appreciate all that my mum and dad do to support me. It costs a lot of money and I know they are very proud of me.”

Mr Cummins, Headteacher at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, commented:  "This is everything that is good about working with such a great group of young people.  Learners passing on their own skills to others is fantastic to see.  Ella is clearly committed to her own development and excellence within the sport but was willing to give her own time to help another learn the same skill."