Young swimmers are strokes ahead in Galloway

Scottish Water Learn-To-Swim Partnership Launch - Tollcross International Swimming Pool - Glasgow. Picture Shows; Scottish Olympic Swimmer, Duncan Scott, interacting with young swimmers at the launch event, Wednesday 21 February 2018.  �Stuart Nicol Photography, 2018
Scottish Water Learn-To-Swim Partnership Launch - Tollcross International Swimming Pool - Glasgow. Picture Shows; Scottish Olympic Swimmer, Duncan Scott, interacting with young swimmers at the launch event, Wednesday 21 February 2018. �Stuart Nicol Photography, 2018

Hundreds of children in Galloway are benefitting from being part of a national programme to help them become better and more confident swimmers, an independent report has found.

A study of the impact of Scottish Swimming’s National Learn to Swim Framework – one of the most comprehensive teaching programmes of its kind in the UK - has found overwhelming approval from parents and from managers tasked with delivering the lessons across Scotland.

More than 1600 children are receiving lessons at seven pools in the Dumfries and Galloway area, provided by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Analysis of the study found that 96% of parents surveyed said that it is important for their child to learn to swim and more than 73% also expressed satisfaction with their children’s enjoyment from their lessons.

More than 75,000 kids across Scotland are involved in Scottish Swimming’s National Learn to Swim Framework, which is supported by Scottish Water and delivered by Leisure Trusts and aquatic providers across Scotland. The target is to reach 100,000 children across the country by 2020.

The programme’s lead Ambassador is Olympic silver medallist, World, European and Commonwealth Champion Duncan Scott, who won an incredible six medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia in April – the most by a Scottish athlete at a single Games.

Councillor Jeff Leaver, Chair of Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning, said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council are delighted with the success of the recently adopted Learn to Swim Framework. We continue to strive to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of local children through our swimming scheme.”

Councillor Ros Surtees, Vice Chair of Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning, said: “Our council places great importance on encouraging our children to participate in and enjoy sport. The excellent outcomes of this study for Dumfries and Galloway show the positive impact that our swimming lessons are having.”

Forbes Dunlop, CEO of Scottish Swimming, said: “Learning to swim should be fun, enjoyable and memorable.

“If children enjoy it from the beginning they are more likely to continue in the sport and, through the Learn to Swim Framework in partnership with Scottish Water and delivered by our Leisure Trust and aquatic providers across Scotland, we are creating quality and fun environments that develop safe, competent and confident swimmers.

“It is very satisfying to see the high levels of support and satisfaction from parents in Dumfries and Galloway who are recognising the quality of the lessons which will equip their children with essential life skills. We thank Dumfries and Galloway Council for their ongoing commitment to work with us and in particular thank the teachers who deliver the lessons in a fun and engaging way to give children the skills and confidence to enjoy swimming.