THE family of a young Andover sportsman, who died shortly before his 14th birthday, say his legacy will live on through a major project for the whole community.
This week, the Jamie G Sporting Trust announced that it will work with Anton Junior School to build an indoor swimming pool for pupils and the community to use.
The trust was established in memory of Jamie Gentleman, a keen sportsman who died suddenly from a heart problem in March 2009.
Over the years, it has raised tens of thousands of pounds to encourage young people to take part in sport in the town.
At the trust’s sixth annual glitter ball – which raised £4,000 – Jamie’s older brother Tommy explained that the trust had decided to concentrate its efforts on one major legacy project.
Tommy said: “This exciting project will give more young people in our community an opportunity to exercise and participate in water sports, while also enabling the learning of an important life skill.
“The fitting location for the pool will also allow for a wide range of the community to benefit from its use outside of school hours, something that both Anton Junior School and the Jamie G Sporting Trust feel very strongly about and hold in high priority.”
Anton Junior School head teacher Tom Donohoe, who was Jamie's football coach, explained that no money from the school's budget provided by the Government would go towards the pool construction, and instead all of the building fund would be raised by the school and trust.
The actual amount required will be identified after the project details are finalised in a few months.
This is when the fundraising target will be announced.
Mr Donohoe said: "As head teacher at Anton Junior School, and as someone who has a long association with the Gentleman family, I am absolutely delighted that Anton and the Jamie G Trust can come together to work to provide a lasting legacy for such a fantastic young man, and an excellent facility for the local community.
"As with our all-weather pitch and our dance studio, we are determined that this swimming pool will be available, accessible and affordable for Andover people to use."
It is hoped that the indoor pool will be finished in time for what would have been Jamie's 21st birthday in 2016.