Pool accident turns Cerys into young hero

Cerys Esslemont with Hannah Miley
Cerys Esslemont with Hannah Miley

A young swimmer who is training to be a lifeguard has been named an unsung swimming star.

Cerys Esslemont, six, from Corby, won a bronze award in the Young Swimmer of the Year category at the 2012 Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards.

Cerys began swimming when she was three and by the time she had turned five, she had progressed so much that she was moved into a teaching group with children twice her age.

Despite being an aspiring young swimmer, Cerys decided to turn down her place on the Corby Swimming Squad to pursue her ambition to become a lifeguard. She is the youngest person to pass the Corby Bronze Level Lifeguard certificate, normally aimed at children aged 10 and over.

She decided to become a lifeguard after she got into difficulty in a pool on holiday two years ago and had to be helped out of the water.

She was nominated for the award by her mum, Kim Esslemont, who said: “Cerys is such a talented swimmer, but after what happened to her, she decided she wanted to use her swimming to save lives, rather than win medals.

“It’s something very close to all our hearts how easily accidents can happen and now Cerys promotes safety and swim awareness to other children.

“Before she started swimming, she was so shy and didn’t believe in herself, so I am proud of what an inspirational young lady she has become.”

The awards are organised by the ASA, the national governing body for swimming.