In the swim and up for top award

Friday, 6th September 2019 — By Calum Fraser and Helen Chapman

Camilla McCready Pay

CAMILLA McCready Pay, pictured above, was shocked when she received an email at work which said that out of about 700 swimming teachers in the country she had been considered one of the best in the Swimming Teacher of the Year Award.

Children from Canonbury Primary, Tufnell Park Primary and St Peter & St Paul Catholic Primary are among the many who have been taught by the 32- year-old for past three years.

“I was really surprised when I got the email,” she says. “I didn’t even know people had nominated me. Obviously I am honoured and happy though.”

The award is supported by the Swimming Teachers Association and all teachers who work in Better Gym pools around the country can be nominated.

Camilla will now go through to a regional semi-final. If she is successful she will then go forward to a national judging day to take place at former Olympic venue, the London Aquatics Centre in Stratford.

Camilla specialises in helping children with special needs and takes children from the Bridge schools out regularly.

“I love seeing the children enjoying themselves,” she says. “Becoming more confident in the water and achieving milestones in swimming. Particularly those children with disabilities who have to overcome more barriers, I also enjoy finding different ways to support and teach those with additional needs in the water.”

Enjoying life the U3A way

Martyn Waring receiving the Walker of the Year cup with Derek Harwood, chair of the Islington U3A and John Shrader, last year’s winner

ONE of the nice things about getting older is that there is a tendency for people to ask how you are. “I was in a shop recently deciding what to buy when someone stopped and asked ‘Are you all right dear?’ ” says Anne Weyman, 76, who helped set up Islington University of the Third Age (U3A) in 2013. “I replied: ‘Yes, I am all right, I am just deciding what to do’.”

Islington U3A was set up by older people, for older people. “Nobody is doing it for us, we do what we want to do. We are always developing, thinking and just enjoying ourselves,” says Anne.

They hold pub lunches twice a month, a coffee morning once a month as well as book and conversation groups.

Last month, Islington U3A members braved the pouring rain for an 11-mile walk. The group trekked from West Finchley, crossing through Finsbury Park and finishing at the Canonbury Tavern. They enjoyed a well- earned drink before presenting the Walker of the Year trophy cup to the group’s founder Martyn Waring.

Anne says: “As older people, we have a lot to offer to each other. We enjoy walking and meeting with people, we enjoy learning new things and exploring.”

Islington U3A has grown to 692 members since it began. For more information go to

Hive of activity at the honey harvest

Isla Gilbert at the honey harvest

A BUZZ of energy arrived at a university in Clerkenwell when celebrating the products made from our black and yellow furry friends. The honey harvest at City University showed youngsters the importance of bees, the dangers that threaten them and what we can do to help. Children from the neighbourhood got to harvest honey which was created by the two City beehives on the roof of university building in St John Street.

There are more than 250 species of bumble bee in the UK but many are on the brink of extinction from climate change, habitat loss,
pollution and disease.

Isla Gilbert, age eight, says: “I really like honey as the bees feed their children with it and I also like to eat it as my mum sometimes puts it on toast for my breakfast. Bees are important so if I ever see a sick bee on the floor I give them a flower. They can be scary sometimes because they sting, but they only do that if they are scared. They are black and yellow which are pretty colours and they are always buzzing about. The way they make honey is really clever and to see it here has been fun.”

Aurelio Murphy, 8, at the honey harvest

A less keen honey eater, Aurelio Murphy, also eight, says: “I don’t actually like eating honey but I will give it to my dad as he really likes it. Making my own honey was really fun and the best bit was putting it in the spinner as you had to turn it really quick, but I still don’t like the taste.”

The beehives were installed on the roof of City University in 2015 as part of a campaign by the Mayor of London to support urban bees and increase biodiversity on City University’s campus.

The honey harvest took place on August 29 with all proceeds going back into maintaining the City beehives. The leftover honey will go on sale in October.

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