Olympians Celebrate Swim School Milestone

School Swimming
Olympic gold medal winner Rebecca Adlington OBE, former World Champion Mark Foster (right) and 2004 bronze Olympic medallist Steve Parry (left) joined in the recent celebrations.

Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch joined a host of Olympic athletes to celebrate 125 years of school swimming lessons last month. The event was held at sports and leisure operator Everyone Active’s Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre, in St Albans, in partnership with Becky Adlington’s SwimStars and the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA).

The event also coincided with the release of the ASA’s 2015 School Swimming Survey, which revealed that there is still a long way to go to improve school swimming lessons in England; only 52 per cent of children aged between 7 and 11 are able to swim 25 metres unaided, despite it being a Key Stage 2 national curriculum requirement.

Adam Paker, ASA chief executive, said: “Swimming is such an important lifesaving skill and gateway sport that it must remain a priority for schools. We all need to work together to ensure that schools have access to high quality swimming provision so that all children learn to swim and are able to continue to enjoy the water throughout their lives.”

Jacqui Tillman, group swim manager for Everyone Active, which runs an award-winning Learn to Swim programme said: “As important as it is to celebrate just how far school swimming has come over the past 125 years, the latest statistics from the ASA also show that we still have a lot of work to do to get children and adults more engaged in swimming.”