Hartlepool pupils pull off paddling challenge

Clavering Primary School children paddled across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddled across Lake Windermere.

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Twelve determined youngsters from a Hartlepool primary school completed a splashingly incredible challenge - by paddling the full length of the largest lake in England.

The team of Year 6 pupils from Clavering Primary School paddled the full length of Windermere in the Lakes over two days during their recent half-term holiday.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

They started their challenge at Fell Foot Park, at the southern tip of Windermere, battling changeable and unfavourable weather conditions to reach the half-way point by the end of day one, which was Bowness on Windermere.

Then, after enduring a rain-filled night under canvas, the young crew continued on their journey reaching Ambleside at the northern tip of the lake by early afternoon on day two - over 11 miles covered in just two days.

Clavering Deputy head teacher Neil McAvoy accompanied the children on the water, along with higher level teaching assistant Julie-Ann Winter, plus two instructors from Carlton Outdoor Education Centre.

The team was also supported on land by Clavering Headteacher Helen O’Brien and Rupert Ashcroft, deputy manager at Carlton.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Speaking with great pride of the children’s accomplishments, Mr McAvoy said: “This really was an epic challenge for all involved.

“At Clavering, we focus a great deal on character building, particularly in year 6, asking the children to consider whether they are the sort of person who can turn around when they have nothing left, and find that little bit extra inside them to keep going.

“These amazing children can certainly say, with great pride and delight, that during our two-day ‘Paddle Windermere’ challenge they were the people who kept going, who kept encouraging one another, who thrived and were positive in adversity, and who completed our challenge.

“We are very, very proud of what they have achieved.”

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

The sentiments were echoed by Miss O’Brien, who said: “At Clavering, we pride ourselves on our outdoor adventurous activities and this has to be the most challenging event we have organised to date.

“Huge congratulations and thanks must go to Mr McAvoy and Mrs Winter as well as these amazing 12 children.

“This is an achievement that all of us will remember forever.”

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.

Clavering Primary School children paddles across Lake Windermere.