Page last updated at 18:41 GMT, Saturday, 10 January 2009

Paralympic hero in pool reopening

Ellie Simmonds (front) helps to reopen pool
Ellie Simmonds (front) helped to reopen the pool

Paralympic double gold medallist Ellie Simmonds has helped to reopen the West Midlands pool where she learnt to swim.

Ellie, 14, who is based in Swansea and is originally from Walsall, returned to Wyndley Pool in Sutton Coldfield.

Ellie and fellow members of Boldmere swimming club have had to train elsewhere for two years but the pool has reopened at a cost of nearly 4m.

The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year for 2008 said it was "really good" to be back.

She said: "I used to train on the steps and had help.

"This is where I started to enjoy swimming."

Ellie, who won gold in the 100m and 400m freestyle, told the crowd on Saturday that she had spent many hours at the pool and made many friends.

Her victory in the 100m saw her become Britain's youngest ever individual Paralympic gold medallist at the age of 13.

She also walked away with the Sports Personality of the Year award at the annual BBC Midlands Sports Awards.

Ellie is still a member of Boldmere swimming club.



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MBE for paralympian swimming star
31 Dec 08 |  West Midlands
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14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality

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