Fight to save school pool backed by Olympic diving team pupil

The Jack Laugher diving cake
The Jack Laugher diving cake

A fundraising drive is aiming to keep a school swimming pool threatened with closure open for all.

Due to funding cuts, Ripon Grammar School’s pool could be under threat and in a bid to save it a number of events have taken place.

The school, which boasts Olympic diver Jack Laugher as a pupil, is running a prize draw and silent auction to raise money.

Tickets are still on sale for the draw which takes place on July 4.

More than 20 sporting prizes worth thousands of pounds are up for grabs, including a year’s health club membership worth more than £700 for the Nuffield Fitness and Wellbeing Centre in Harrogate.

Olympic diving hopeful and RGS pupil Jack Laugher has also donated a GB diving team t-shirt, signed by the whole team, including himself and Tom Daley.

Described as a ‘future world champion’ by American diving great Greg Louganis, Jack said he is disappointed by the county council’s decision to cut funding for his school pool, which needs at least £25,000 spent on updating the air conditioning system.

“It’s a really big shame. Swimming is a basic life skill which everyone should have. The pool gets used a lot by everyone at school,” he said.

Companies and ind’ividuals from all over the area are supporting the school’s fundraising campaign, with prizes donated to the draw including rugby and football match tickets, Thai boxing lessons, dance fitness classes, hi-tech sports gear and a day at the races.

Leeds United has offered an original signed team photo and Middlesbrough FC is offering a stadium tour.

Tickets for these prizes, as well as a silent auction for horse lovers which includes a private lesson with Christopher Bartle, the highest ever placed British dressage rider in the Olympics, are on sale now at Fat Face in Ripon and at Ripon Grammar School.

Entries for an Olympic cake baking competition were featured on a market stall on Ripon Market Square.

The competition was judged by the Mayor of Ripon Coun Andrew Williams, before the cakes and biscuits were sold to raise funds.

The final proceeds were £376.60.

A special raffle was held for a cake featuring an image of Jack, donated by award-winning, cake designer Charlotte Marrifield from Sugar Therapy in Harrogate.

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