A ROMSEY youngster along with others from across Hampshire has made a splash at a prestigious swimming awards ceremony.

Tilly Nicholls was recognised at this year’s Southern Water Learn to Swim Achiever awards, where the courage and determination of children who have learnt to swim against the odds or performed exceptionally is celebrated.

The four-year-old swimmer was one of a select few to have been nominated for the Achiever of the Year award by their swimming teacher on this year’s Learn to Swim scheme, which is 25th year and has helped teach more than 750,000 children to swim.

Her teacher Chris Loughran from Oaklands Community Pool said: “Tilly has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome, which means she can become more easily intimidated by new or over stimulating situations.

“At first, she was unsure about lessons but has really grown to love them. She can swim on her own and after achieving all of her duckling awards, she’s now working towards stage one. Congratulations and well done Tilly.”

Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew and Invictus Games gold medallist Mike Goody presented Tilly and other young swimmers with medals and certificates in front of an audience of families and swim teachers from participating pools at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth.

Southern Water’s community campaigns and engagement manager, Beverley Thompson, said: “This year, we celebrated 25 years of Learn to Swim -a fantastic milestone for everyone who’s been involved.

“We would like to thank all the instructors at the clubs and pools across the regions who give their time and expertise to teach all our young swimmers. We’re looking ahead to the next 25 years and to helping to teach even more youngsters a life saving skill.”