Swim dreams do come true

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A borough leisure centre has teamed up with a college to fulfil a Kenyan school nurse’s dream of learning to swim.

It is almost ten years since the beginning of the partnership between Burnside College and Gorgor High School.

In 2005, two Burnside teachers, Rosalind Elliot and Julie Thompson, travelled on a fact finding visit to Gorgor, in Kenya, where they met Selina, the school nurse.

Over the years, Selina kept in touch with the teachers at Burnside and through this connection they found out that Selina had lived in the same part of Kenya her whole life, without ever seeing the sea or being in water.

The staff at Burnside arranged for her to come and visit the north east to experience a wealth of new things, from flying on a plane to enjoying a modern European lifestyle for a week.

This was all topped when Hadrian Leisure Centre offered to teach her to swim, which was what she wanted from her visit.

Selina said: “Jackie is a wonderful teacher who made me believe I could swim. Floating on the water and swimming has been just like a miracle for me.

“I am so very, very happy to have had the chance to do this.”