Blackburn's Half Fish HQ swimming pools wins national award

Shelley Whitehead collected the award on behalf of Half Fish HQ (Will Johnston Photography)
Shelley Whitehead collected the award on behalf of Half Fish HQ (Will Johnston Photography)

A community swimming pool beat off stiff competition from across the country to win a national award.

Half Fish HQ @ Daisyfield Pools were named ‘Inclusion Champions’ at the Swim England Approved Training Centre Awards.

The club also finished runners-up in the School Swimming Provider of the Year category.

The Swim England Teaching and Education Awards and Conference brings together more than 350 people to network and discuss key topics relating to swimming.

This year’s event on Thursday in Birmingham was the first since 2019. Shelley Whitehead collected the award on behalf of Half Fish HQ and said the organisation had made huge efforts to reach out to people of all ages and backgrounds.

She said: “Those people who know us, understand the passion we put in to what we’re doing by making it such an exciting environment to learn.

“We try to put a little bit of us to everybody who comes through our door.

“Half Fish HQ is located in a highly deprived and a really diverse community and teaching staff too. We work hard to include everyone in everything we do because we just want people to come and enjoy swimming.

“We’ve never won anything before so I’m delighted to receive this!”

Half Fish HQ was recognised for supporting learners on the journey as they take undertake their Swim England Qualifications and CPDs.

On booking a course each candidate is asked what if any support they need in order to support their learning journey. Over time Half Fish HQ have supported learners with dyslexia, low self-esteem, confidence, mental health issues and physical disabilities.

Blackburn’s Daisyfield Pools was taken over by The Half Fish Foundation in 2018. The organisation has been delivering swimming coaching, lifeguarding and first aid courses for nearly ten years.