More than 300 school children in Cornwall are getting free swimming lessons thanks to the Time2Swim project.
Funded by a grant of £200,000 from the Government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) and working in partnership with Active Cornwall and Cornwall Council, the swimming support programme is being run in eleven Better leisure centres operated by not-for-profit social enterprise GLL.
Better leisure centres taking part are in Bodmin, Bude, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard, Newquay, Saltash, St Austell, St Ives, Truro and Wadebridge.
Following two years of Covid lockdowns and closures, three in five children are currently predicted to leave school in 2025 without being able to swim competently. Time2Swim is tackling that issue in Cornwall by arranging weekly free lessons for Year 5 and 6 pupils living in targeted and priority areas.
GLL senior manager, Amelia Kitchen said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to help local children develop vital water skills,”
“The pandemic has meant some pupils leaving primary school without having achieved the national curriculum standard for swimming. This project makes it easier for young people to get the swim education they need.”
Every child who receives a free lesson gets free access to public swimming sessions in the centres. An accompanying parent or guardian is also being given free adult membership for the same period.
“Family involvement is critical in building swim confidence and skill but, with family swims costing around £20, that isn’t always possible,” said Active Cornwall’s project support officer Karen Edmond.
“More than 7000 places have already been booked via Time2Swim and, as a partnership, we’re very pleased with what’s been achieved so far.”
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