Three young swimmers have emulated their Olympic heroes by taking on a 1,500m Swimathon challenge at Queen Elizabeth Park in London.
Nine-year-old Zach Roff from Sherfield-on-Loddon, eight-year-old Juliet Stevens from Bramley and six-year-old Olivia O’Leary from Reading completed the Swimathon in the same pool used for the London 2012 Olympics.
The trio, who take lessons with Cali Kids, each swam 500m for the challenge, and raised more than £850 for cancer charity Marie Curie.
Cali Kids owner Alicia Reilly said: “I’m so proud of my little ones, who have gone from not being able to put their heads in the water to swimming 500m each in the Olympic Pool in London.
“I had no doubt that they’d all be able to do it, but they did look so small in the stadium – and my six-year-old pupil was the youngest there.
“They’re used to swimming in a 12m-long pool in Reading so this was a huge challenge for them, but they came through with flying colours and have the medals to prove it.”
The youngsters also won praise from Olympic champion Duncan Goodhew, who said he was impressed to see them swimming in such a big event.
And the children themselves enjoyed their challenge.
Zach, who goes to Four Lanes Junior School, said: “I’ll never forget swimming in the Olympic Pool and completing my challenge.
“When I first got to the pool I was quite nervous but when I got into the water and built up my energy it was really fun.”
Juliet, a pupil at Bramley Primary School, added: “It was scary at first because it was just adults doing the Swimathon and it’s a big pool but it was great.
“I’ve watched my mum run in races and compete, so it was great to do something like that myself.”