National swim programme unites providers at annual conference
MORE than 70 delegates dedicated to delivering vital children’s swimming lessons from all corners of the country will descend on Edinburgh to share their vision on creating Scotland’s “generation swim”.
The summit is uniting 29 out of the 37 local authorities, leisure trusts and aquatic providers delivering the Learn to Swim framework, which has already provided lessons to more than 100,000 youngsters, and wants to reach a further 100,000 by 2025.
Among the regions represented at tomorrow’s event (Thursday 24th November) will be Orkney, Dumfries, Scottish Borders and Argyll and Bute with areas discussed including the recruitment and retention of swimming coaches – the everyday heroes who help ensure the safety of children in pools and water.
The Learn to Swim framework is a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water delivered locally by aquatic providers and its annual conference is taking place at the National Museum of Scotland, with attendance from Swim England, Swim Wales and Swim Ireland to share best practice and key learnings.
Euan Lowe, Chief Executive Officer at Scottish Swimming, said: “This is an opportunity to create a generation of young Scots who can swim better than their parents – and derive more pleasure from it in the process.
“But it goes so far beyond that, if swimming can form a key part of their lives growing up will have a big impact on the nation’s health and wellbeing as well as respect for water safety.
“Events like these are fundamental for sharing best practice, updates on the latest programme insights and discuss key challenges being faced such as recruitment and upskilling. As well as celebrating the trusts in Scotland we’re bringing leaders from across the UK to share their wisdom.”
During the conference, staff from Xcite – which was recognised as Learn to Swim Provider of the Year at Scottish Swimming’s annual awards – will share knowledge of its expansion and how capacity of youngsters learning to swim in West Lothian increased from 4,479 in May 2021 to more than 5,836 in August 2022.
Attendees will also get the chance to hear leaders from both Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water outline their vision for the next phase of Learn to Swim, with the chance to create a long-lasting swimming legacy for the nation.
Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs with Scottish Water, said: “Learning to swim is such an important safety skill and it’s vital the basics are learned at an early age. Water safety is the paramount reason we’re involved in the partnership with Scottish Swimming.
“Connecting with providers is vital to ensure the delivery of the best quality programme for young swimmers and teaching essential life skills for the long term.”
A total of 37 Leisure Trusts and Aquatic Providers provide Learn to Swim lessons in more than 160 pools.
The next chapter of Learn to Swim will build a real legacy for Scotland – creating “generation swim” by improving water safety, and, through working with schools and local authorities, giving all children a real platform for success and to achieve their full potential in the pool and out.
For more information on the Learn to Swim programme, visit https://learntoswim.scot/