He’s done it again! Water-loving Henri Hawkes-Reed has swum his way to earning a free, charity hoodie – after completing his Heidi’s Heroes loyalty swim card for a second time!
Ten-year-old Henri from Bishop’s Cleeve, has become the first child to complete five free swims at The Lido, Cheltenham, as part of a loyalty card scheme run by the Cheltenham charity Heidi’s Heroes and The Lido.
Henri’s achievement comes just a month after he became the first child to earn his free, Heidi’s Heroes T-shirt for completing five free swims at Leisure@Cheltenham.
The Lido loyalty card encourages children to improve their swimming over the summer by attending five free sessions at the popular outdoor pool in Keynsham Road. The cards were given to more than 100 primary school pupils from the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury area who took part in the charity’s Swim for Safety week, held each year to teach nervous children to swim.
Henri, who has Down Syndrome, was given his Heidi’s Hero Hoodie at a special presentation at The Lido. Congratulating Henri on his achievement were Roz and Bob Turk, the parents of Heidi Wood, the world champion swimmer who died of cancer in 2012 – and to whom the charity is dedicated – as well as The Lido’s Co-Chief Executive Officer Keith Norris.
Henri’s mum Anita, sister Isobel, 8 and his Teaching Assistant Kay Tamcken, joined him for the presentation after which both children took to the water.
Anita said: “Henri absolutely loves the water and can’t wait to get in. During the Heidi’s Heroes Swim for Safety week he learnt to swim 10 metres and no longer uses floats. Isobel is like a mermaid anyway so it’s lovely he two of them can now enjoy the water together. The Lido is our second home during the summer holidays!”
Paul Wood, Heidi’s Heroes’ founder, said: “Henri’s progress is typical of many children who take part in the Swim for Safety programme. They arrive feeling sick with fear, but after five days in the pool with some great coaches, they are swimming and water confident. It’s an immensely satisfying event and it is fantastic to see Henri doing so well and he is a great ambassador for our swimming event, I’m told he doesn’t take off his Heidi’s Heroes’ T-shirt, or hoodie!”