Inspiration Trust Makes a Splash at Third Annual Swimming Gala

Blog Header Image
Published on 21/11/23

On the 21st November, 216 pupils from years 7 to 10 across 9 secondary schools took to the pool to compete in the Inspiration Trust’s third annual swimming gala. Held at the fantastic UEA Sportspark, pupils had the opportunity to swim in one of the few olympic size pools in the country.  

Year 7 and 8 pupils swam first in the Junior competition, with Year 9 and 10 pupils following slightly later in the Senior competition. On the day over both competitions, there were more than 80 races including individual and team relays. The participants involved were varied in experience; some were experienced club swimmers, but there were also swimmers competing in their first ever gala. The fastest swimmers also had the opportunity to compete in finals races, with the top 6 competitors from each category facing off in one last swim!  

A big thank you must be given to the staff at UEA Sportspark for their help in hosting our third annual gala in their incredible venue, as well as to the City of Norwich Swimming Club, who facilitated the smooth running of the event with experienced officials. Another huge thank you also goes to the Sports Leaders from Hethersett Academy, who were involved in the timekeeping and scoring for the gala and did a fantastic job helping throughout a busy day of competition. 

At poolside, everyone was bursting with enthusiasm, with pupils cheering on their teammates in a variety of different races in fantastic spirit and all competitors were a credit to their school in terms of performance, effort, and commitment. It was exciting to see so many pupils experience a swimming competition for the first time. As a Trust, we love extending opportunities for our family of schools, providing events that encourage sporting values such as determination and where pupils can take pride in representing their schools. 

Paul Wayman Jackson, Trust Sports Coordinator said: 

 “This year’s Trust swimming gala really stepped up a level and was a huge success. I was elated to see our pupils compete with tenacity, resilience, and respect for their fellow competitors. Team spirit was at an all-time high as each school were issued with coloured swimming hats. School PE staff did a great job of organising their swim teams and encouraging pupils on the day. Other Trust staff that have worked really hard behind the scenes to make this an amazing event; thank you to Kate from Marketing and Eleanor from the Sport team. 


Working in collaboration with Alex and the team at City of Norwich Swimming Club enables the event to have an air of greatness, leading to many pupils showing an interest in joining swimming clubs in their local area. Again, the staff at UEA Sportspark facilitated the day and showcased the first-class facility that it is.  


As a Trust, we believe in raising up the future generation of Sports Leaders, this time around using students from Hethersett Academy. The day could not have run smoothly without their support with crucial jobs such as time keeping, scorekeepers and team management roles!” 


Results table: 


Year Group 

First Place 

Second Place 

Third Place 

Junior Boys 

Hethersett Academy 

Thetford Academy 

Hewett Academy 





Junior Girls 

Hethersett Academy 

Thetford Academy 


Jane Austen College 





Senior Boys 

Hethersett Academy 

Thetford Academy 


King Edward VII Academy 





Senior Girls 

Hethersett Academy 

Thetford Academy 


Jane Austen College 







Hethersett Academy 

Thetford Academy 

Jane Austen College 


A big congratulations to our top performers: 


Y7 Boys: Alex T (Hethersett Academy) 

Y7 Girls: Hillary D (Hethersett Academy) 


Y8 Boys: Tom K (Hethersett Academy) 

Y8 Girls: Sophie S (Hethersett Academy) 


Y9 Boys: Finley S (Thetford Academy) 

Y9 Girls: Emily D (Hethersett Academy) 


Y10 Boys: Travis V (Hethersett Academy) 

Y10 Girls: Abbi R (Jane Austen College)