Treading Water

WomanandBabyDuring the 2012 London Olympics, British Swimming, the national governing body for amateur swimming in the UK, reported a 90 per cent increase in its website traffic, much of which came from people ‘inspired to get back in the pool’, but as to whether that interest translates into an increase in children learning to swim remains to be seen. At present it is a statutory requirement that all children should be able to swim 25 metres unaided by the time they leave primary school. This places the responsibility firmly on schools, although government funding for top-up lessons for children who have not reached the 25 metre goal has been withdrawn. Dave Walker, Leisure Safety Manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says: “A troubling trend, which RoSPA is concerned about, is that one in three children at the age of 11 cannot meet the national swimming and water safety standard… swimming and water safety is critically important and swimming pools are by far the safest place to swim. “Children should have access to a high-quality swimming pool and lessons,” emphasises Dave. A place to learn to swim and structured lessons would seem to be the obvious solution to children being unable to swim, as Dave Walker points out, and the importance of this being incorporated into the school curriculum is highlighted also by the 2012 Swimming Census, conducted by the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) in conjunction with Kellogg’s.
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