Official opening of new hydrotherapy pool at Roddensvale School

Pictured at the official opening of the hydrotherapy pool at Roddensval School are Gavin Boyd, Education Authority Chief Executive, Ms Sharon O`Connor, Education Authority Chairperson and John Madden, school principal. INLT 11-001-PSB
Pictured at the official opening of the hydrotherapy pool at Roddensval School are Gavin Boyd, Education Authority Chief Executive, Ms Sharon O`Connor, Education Authority Chairperson and John Madden, school principal. INLT 11-001-PSB

Roddensvale School’s new £950,000 hydrotherapy pool was officially opened by the chairperson of the Education Authority this morning.

Sharon O’Connor unveiled a commemorative plaque at the ten metre facility in Larne.

Principal John Madden described the occasion as a “momentous day for the young people of Roddensvale”.

“It is a fabulous day for the school. It has made a difference to provision at Roddensvale.

“The benefits of hydrotherapy are well-documented,” he said.

The pool which is heated to a temperature of 33 degrees centigrade is used predominantly by pupils with mobility issues.

Previously, pupils had to travel to a facility in Jordanstown but they can now enjoy a “much better quality experience”.

The provision was welcomed by Austin Heatley, former chairman of the board of governors who spearheaded a tireless campaign for the pool.

He admitted that in the beginning one of the biggest hurdles was”overcoming scepticism”.

The Education Authority chairperson described the pool opening as a “very significant landmark” in the school’s 54 year history.

She described Roddensvale as a “very well-run facility with a lovely happy atmosphere” and the new pool, as a “fine legacy to all involved”.

The Education Authority’s chief executive Gavin Boyd said that he was delighted that the development which has been in use since last April “has happened” and praised the “tremendous effort” of all those involved.

“It is for the benefit of the young people of this area,” he added.

Maeve Maxwell, chairperson of Roddensvale School’s board of governors, said: “This is a fantastic addition to our school. During the first few months, pupils were already reaping the benefits of hydrotherapy. This will grow as more people use the pool. I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.”