Every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim as part of their national curriculum requirements, however, during the pandemic young people in year groups five and six , didn’t get this opportunity due to pools being closed.
This is reflected nationally and last year Swim England predicted that more than one million children in the UK could leave primary school in the next five years unable to swim the minimum standards required under the national curriculum, according to their The Impact of Coronavirus on School Swimming and Water Safety report.
Abbeycroft Leisure, in partnership with Bury St. Edmunds Town Council has developed an initiative to provide children in those affected year groups, who live in Bury St Edmunds, the opportunity to gain this important life skill for free by funding beginners’ swimming crash courses during the summer holidays.
Funding for the initiative has come from locality budgets from Cllrs Rayner, Thompson Stamp, Chung, Everitt, Murray, Rout, Whittingham and Augustine.
Following Swim England’s Learn to Swim pathway, the children will be taught as part of Abbeycroft’s Swim Academy in a safe, supported environment with children of their own age group, as part of a 5-day course, between 8th-26 August.
Warren Smyth, CEO at Abbeycroft said:
“This is a great initiative as we all know how important it is for children to have the opportunity to learn to swim and it makes perfect sense to deliver it within our Swim Academy framework with fully qualified, passionate teachers. We would invite anyone who thinks they are eligible to contact us via the link below.”
Cllr Jo Rayner from the Bury St Edmunds Town Council said:
“Swimming is a safety skill which some children would have missed during the covid lockdowns. I am delighted to be part of a group of Town Councillors who are working with Abbeycroft to use our locality budgets to provide these crash courses for free to residents over the summer holidays. It could make all the difference to someone, one day, and will be an activity children can enjoy throughout their lives”.