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Town Talk

CHILDREN at the Church of Eng- land Primary School, Snodland were excited to welcome a Para- lympian to the school. New Zealander Tim Prender-

gast spoke to pupils about his journey from a young boy who thought he was going blind to winning a gold medal in the T13 800m at the Athens Paralympics in 2004. Tim, who was a guest at Holmesdale Technology College last year, told the pupils that when he was eight years old he wanted to play cricket for New Zealand and to be an astronaut. The fol- lowing year he started seeing a dot in his eye which got bigger. He was told he had a rare eye condition and by the time he was 15 he would have limited vision.

Local news for Snodland and Halling Paralympian Timinspires teachers and pupils

and get what they wanted in life. Head teacher Holley Hunt said

it was not just the children who were inspired, but the staff as well. Afterwards children were able to interview Tim, asking him lots of challenging questions and gain- ing advice on what to do if things became tricky. One of the highlights of the day

"I knew then that I would not be playing cricket for New Zealand or be an astronaut," he said. "At sec- ondary school I had to join the sports club. I thought, cool, I will use my blindness so I do not have to do sport.”

Tim's school PE teacher changed his thinking, encourag- ing him to think about the things he could do, rather than what he could not do. He told the children to have be- lief and determination and go out

was a training session led by Tim. Pupils were put through a vigor- ous warm-up before competing in a range of relay activities, ending with a 60-metre race against the paralympian. One boy even asked: "If I win

can I have your gold medal?" Tim retired from running in

2012, but took part in the London Marathon this year, completing it in 2hrs 47 minutes.

Surprise for head as school pool is named after him

A SCHOOL swimming pool has been named after the acting head teacher who has taught at the school for 31 years. Sports minister Tracey Crouch,

Sisters step out

in Race for Life TWO sisters aged six and four completed a 10k Race for Life in Mote Park, Maidstone to raise more than £300 for Cancer Re- search UK. Penny (6) and Sally (4) Ingles of

Willowside, Snodland finished the course in just over two and a half hours with mum Rachel and dad Ian. "We did the race in memory of

the girls' nanna [Dorothy Marsh, Rachel's mother] who passed away in 2013 from terminal can- cer," said Ian. "This is the fourth year our family

has done the race and we are bowled over by everyone's sup- port." Both girls attend St Katherine's Primary School (Sally is in the pre- school) and received a letter from sports minister Tracey Crouch congratulating them on their achievement. Ian said: "I will never forget them both finishing the race with the crowd cheering. A lot of people thought the girls just joined their mum for the last bit as they could- n't believe children of a young age could walk that far. "We, of course, knew different, which is all that matters and we knew what an amazing thing they had done to help others."

who is also MP for Chatham and Aylesford, opened the refurbished pool at St Katherine's Primary School, and Gerald Cadwallader did not know it was named after him until the plaque was unveiled. The school governors, staff, par-

ents andmany childrenwere in on the secret. Gerry told Town Talk: "I am very honoured. All the staff and children knew but I ama very busy person and I did not know what was going to happen. "It was lovely that Tracey came.

She is a good minister of sport be- cause she is interested in it." The school has been saving for

years to pay for the refurbishment, which included a new roof, chang- ing rooms extension, double glazed windows and showers. The school has 620 pupils in 21 classes. When Gerry first arrived the school had about 400 pupils in 14 classes.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch at St Katherine’s Primary School with Jacob, Chloe, Aiden and Jayden. Inset, acting head Gerry Cadwallader

The pool can be used all year round, will be available for use by other schools and has already re- ceived enquiries from companies for use during school holidays and outside school hours. Governors and parents were welcomed to the opening cere- mony by Gerry, pupils sang a swimming song and there was a performance by the St Katherine's Kats Cheerleaders. John Edgar,

chairman of governors invited Gerry to help Tracey with the open- ing and there was a "Song for Gerry". Tracey said: "It was fabulous to

open the refurbished swimming pool. The teachers, governors and parents have worked really hard to raise money to transform the pool into a usable asset for both the school and the community. Well done everyone."

Gavin takes over as football manager

THE new boss of Snodland Town Foot- ball Club, who play in the Kent County Football League Premier Division, admits he is a better manager than he was a player. After seven years of managing chil-

dren’s teams Gavin Gillies joined Cliffe Woods in Division 4 of the Rochester League in 2008. Promotion followed to the Premier Division which they won last season. He lives with partner Kelly Tom- lin at the Six Bells public house inChurch

Street, Cliffe, where she is licensee. His two sons, Reese (20) and Liam (15) are footballers. Gavin (pictured), who runs a double glazing business, heard about the Snod- land vacancy from goalkeeper Jack Pig- den. He said: “I needed a new challenge and I amvery happy with the way things are going.” Former manager Ross Mitchell was

with the club for almost two years but re- signed due to work commitments.

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