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Boris Johnson makes a splash with mobile pool visit to Camden school

PUBLISHED: 16:35 30 May 2013 | UPDATED: 15:27 31 May 2013

Mayor of London Boris Johnson chats with Team GB sychronised swimmer Katie Dawkins, and Jazmine Stansbury, Team GB and 2012 Britain's Got Talent finalist, at the mobile swimming pool at Maria Fidelis School. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mayor of London Boris Johnson chats with Team GB sychronised swimmer Katie Dawkins, and Jazmine Stansbury, Team GB and 2012 Britain's Got Talent finalist, at the mobile swimming pool at Maria Fidelis School. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson resisted the temptation to take a dip while visiting a mobile swimming pool at a Camden secondary school today.

Boris Johnson with Team GB sychronised swimmers Katie Dawkins and Jazmine Stansbury and children from Swiss Cottage Swimming Club in the mobile swimming pool at Maria Fidelis School. Picture: Polly Hancock.Boris Johnson with Team GB sychronised swimmers Katie Dawkins and Jazmine Stansbury and children from Swiss Cottage Swimming Club in the mobile swimming pool at Maria Fidelis School. Picture: Polly Hancock.

The mayor dropped into all-girl Maria Fidelis RC Convent School, in North Gower Street, Euston, to take a look at the pool on offer to students and the community, as part of the Mayor’s Make a Splash programme.

The City Hall Olympic legacy scheme takes mobile swimming pools into schools across London for 12 weeks at a time.

Speaking poolside at Maria Fidelis, the London mayor emphasised the importance of Make a Splash, pointing out that currently around half of 11-year-olds in London were unable to swim.

He said: “We want kids in London to be able to swim. It’s something that is going to be with you for the rest of your life, it’s an absolutely glorious thing to do and it also keeps you fit.

The Mayor of London chats with children from Swiss Cottage Swimming Club. Picture: Polly HancockThe Mayor of London chats with children from Swiss Cottage Swimming Club. Picture: Polly Hancock

“I swim whenever I can, I don’t get much chance unfortunately, but I can swim - I learned to swim in Camden!”

The pool arrived at Maria Fidelis in April and will stay in the lower school playground until July 11 for school swimming lessons and free community use on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings.

During his visit, Mr Johnson met members of Team GB’s synchronised swimming team and watched as they got into the pool to offer a swimming master-class to children enjoying the facility.

He fondly recalled achieving certificates for swimming 10 yards and 25 yards as a child, when he was a pupil at Primrose Hill Primary School in Princess Road.

“When I was at school here in this borough many years ago, I was very lucky because my primary school had in the basement a little pool and I learnt to swim,” Mr Johnson revealed.

“I realised quite early on as mayor that most schools in London have lost these pools because of health and safety or the expense of keeping them running and I thought, ‘What a shame that was’.

“So we started the mobile pool scheme not only to help the schools but also to help the local communities.”

To book a session at the Maria Fidelis mobile pool, visit www.totalswimming.co.uk

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