GEMS Wellington Academy launches Swimming Centre of Excellence with World Champion Chad le Clos
GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail officially launched its Swimming Centre of Excellence on 16 October 2019, joined by South African Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games Champion swimmer Chad le Clos as a special guest. The event was attended by dignitaries from Swim England, Hamilton Aquatics and the school’s principal, Neil Matthews.
On the day of the launch, le Clos conducted a coaching session with top swimmers from GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail as well as other talented swimmers from around Dubai. This was followed by a scholarship award ceremony for the 16 scholars enrolled in the Centre of Excellence.
Neil Matthews, Principal and CEO, GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, said:
“It is my firm belief that for our student athletes to be successful, the key ingredients are practice, hard work and a supportive environment in which to learn, train and perform. Our Swimming Centre of Excellence brings all these elements together by providing exceptional facilities, teaching and coaching, wonderful opportunities both within and beyond the curriculum, and strong partnerships with our families. Together, these form a highly personalised and flexible programme for our swimming scholars – one that can’t be found anywhere else in the region.”
The school’s Swimming Centre of Excellence is being run in partnership with Hamilton Aquatics and is designed to ensure the individual requirements of swimmers are met. The bespoke programme is unique to the region and allows for students to effectively balance busy training schedules with school requirements and commitments. They benefit from expert swimming coaching, support and facilities, while maintaining their performance at school.
Chad le Clos said: “Thanks to GEMS Education and everybody involved for such a great day. I am really honoured to be part of the official launch of the Swimming Centre of Excellence. I wish I had had opportunities like this back when I was training as it is a huge way for the children to maximise their potential. They get a chance to grow, nurture their skills and enjoy themselves. My message really is to enjoy the ride, keep going and reach for the stars.”
GEMS Education’s Centre of Excellence programme is a platform that provides leadership, research, development pathways, partnerships, support and training in a focused sporting discipline that delivers coaching of fundamental movement and skills in activities that are accessible, affordable and inclusive. It is the driving force to motivate students to engage in physical activities as part of their everyday life, promoting good habits that will continue throughout their lifetime.
The swimming facilities available at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail are world-class. The school has two 25-metre pools, a performance gym and two multi-purpose sports halls, which combine with experienced coaching staff to provide everything swimmers need to train, improve and realise their highest potential.
In 1959, two teachers, KS Varkey and his wife Mariamma, arrived in Dubai.
At the time, Dubai was a burgeoning trade centre on the Arabian Gulf. The Varkey family had left Kerala, India to seek a better life for their family. What they found was a real need to educate children arriving in the city from around the world.
Their son, Sunny, added a visionary’s ambition to a practitioner's experience. From simple roots in a family of teachers, GEMS Education, is today an international company with schools and education services across the Middle East. We still share the same mission - to provide a quality education to everyone.