School pupils, teachers and parents are campaigning to save their school swimming pool after a small leak became an urgent problem.

Hagbourne CE Primary School near Didcot has had a swimming pool for more than 50 years, but a major leak has been found which the school cannot afford to fix. The problem requires excavation of one side of the pool to expose the piping where the problem lies.

The Hagbourne Pool Committee has launched a Crowdfunder page to raise £5,000 with the aim of fixing the leak and reopening it before school finishes for the summer holidays in July.

The pool committee is made up of parents and those who used to attend the school. Campaigners say swimming has been an integral part of school life for generations of local children and post pandemic, its importance has grown.

Phil Larrs is part of the committee and has a son at the school. He said he chose to send his son to the school because it had a swimming pool.

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He said: “It is free for the kids to swim. It gets them doing exercise, kids have been stuck inside during lockdown and not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden to run around in.”

It is estimated that more than 1,000 children have learned to swim at Hagbourne over the years. Hagbourne School is proud to say that most of its pupils can swim a length of the 12-metre pool by the time they are seven years old.

The pool committee plans to offer lots of opportunities for Hagbourne children to catch up on the swimming sessions they missed during the pandemic, over the summer holidays, but first the pool needs to be fixed.

The swimming pool is not just used for lessons; community groups such as Brownies, Guides, Scouts, Beavers and local junior football teams make regular use of it too, as do local swim schools. Schools hire it for teaching swimming, water survival skills and lifesaving. It has been used for teaching SCUBA diving and for lifesaving training and even Zorbing.

Parents, pupils and teachers are appealing to everyone who learnt to swim at the school pool or who has ever enjoyed a swim there to come forward and help out by donating £5.

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