Olympian launches new swimming academy

Fri, 18 Jan 2019
Thomas Haffield (right) with Mr Neil Shaw, Headteacher at Monmouth School Boys’ Prep, and pupils in the new academy.

An Olympic swimmer is putting Monmouth children through their strokes after launching a new academy.

Thomas Haffield, a former Great Britain swimmer, is working with children at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools on a weekly basis.

The new partnership has been forged by Mrs Jennie Phillips, a keen swimmer and Headmistress at Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery.

The classes are taking place in the pool at Monmouth School for Girls and Mr Haffield is being helped by Mrs Phillips and senior students Lucy, Ellie, Caitlin and Eva.

Mrs Phillips said: “We are delighted to be able to offer the children such a wonderful opportunity and have already received some extremely positive feedback from the parents.

“Mr Haffield and I are committed to providing even our youngest children with high quality swimming provision and look forward to watching the children’s skills develop and confidence grow as they progress through the academy.”

Mr Haffield made his major event debut at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and then swam at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

After retiring from competitive swimming in 2014, Mr Haffield set up a learn-to-swim programme at the Celtic Manor Resort, which has gone from strength to strength.

Mr Haffield said: “I am very happy to be working in partnership with Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools.

“After setting up a successful learn-to-swim programme at the Celtic Manor in Newport, working with Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools was always the next step I hoped to make.

“I am excited to be working with children from the pre-prep and Monmouth School Boys’ Prep.

“Hopefully, we might even have a future Olympic swimmer in our midst.”