Little Zaks in the swim for Flying Scotsman

Published: 25th Feb 2009

Please note this is an archived Press Release

LITTLE Zak Parlby has two passions in life swimming and trains. And when he heard funds were desperately needed to restore the famed Flying Scotsman, he knew exactly what to do.

Zak is only six but he plans to swim 16 lengths of his favourite pool to raise the £25 needed to buy a single bolt for his beloved steam locomotive.

Zak, from Staithes, near Whitby, learned to swim at the newly-refurbished Guisborough Pool which is run by Tees Valley Leisure and loves his lessons, thanks to instructor Jill Briggs.

She said: "Zak absolutely adores his swimming but he loves trains just as much. His mum says it started with Thomas the Tank Engine when he was just 15 months old, and he goes to the National Railway Museum in York six times a year.

"Zak has been watching the museum restoring Flying Scotsman for two years, and when his grandad heard that the museum has set up an S.O.S fundraising appeal (Steam our Scotsman), to finish the work, he decided he had to do something to help.

Zak will be taking the plunge and swimming 400m on Sunday, March 1, and has already received a letter from the museum thanking him for his support. His aim is to raise at least £25.

Jill will be on hand to encourage Zak in his marathon at Guisborough Pool, which recently received an improved reception area and changing rooms, new poolside surrounds, and a more modern filtration system to improve water quality.

The refurbishment was the first instalment of a major three-year maintenance programme in the Borough's five sports centres, managed by Tees Valley Leisure Limited at Guisborough, Eston, Loftus, Redcar and Saltburn.

Jill said: "The pool is a really safe environment for youngsters like Zak, and we have parent and toddler swimming classes, pool parties and "swimsafe" swimming sessions.

"He loves to swim here, and well all be cheering him on with his lengths its a long way to swim when youre only six years old!

For further information on swimming lessons or other pool activities contact Guisborough Swimming Pool on 01287 633311 or visit Tees Valley Leisure website

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