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Swimming programme is helping children keep fit in Covid-safe environment

A swimming programme is helping children to keep fit in a Covid-safe environment, develop an essential life skill and provide a pathway for the next generation of competitors.

Learn to Swim, which runs at the University of Warwick’s Sports and Wellness Hub, works with more than 400 young swimmers and delivers over 100 classes a week.

Swimming programme is helping children keep fit in Covid-safe environment

Measures have been implemented since reopening to ensure children are safe, with teachers being trained to adapt to a new style of teaching from the side of the pool.

The number of people in the swimming pool and changing village has been restricted to allow social distancing safely.

Amelia Gane, 9, Sasha Gandhi, 8, and Alexandra Castree, 9, all joined Learn to Swim and have gone on to successfully trial for City of Coventry Swimming Club.

Learn to Swim is run in partnership with City of Coventry Swimming Club and provides a pathway to trial for the club.

The Sports and Wellness Hub features a 12-lane, 25 metre pool and is designed to provide for swimmers of all skill-levels, from leisure to competitive.

Alexandra, from Coventry, completed her level six and seven with the programme after not achieving her potential at another swim school.

Her mum Victoria said: “We wanted our children to learn to swim because it’s an important life skill and once Alexandra got the hang of it she loved it.

“She had been with a school before but needed a larger pool to build her stamina and they had that at Warwick. 

“The link with the swim club is great too. Alexandra passed the 10 week trial session and is in the club now. We’re very proud of her.” 

Sasha, from Warwick, joined the programme aged seven, and has now progressed to join the City of Coventry Swimming Club.

“Sasha has been with the Coventry club for a while now, but it was the enthusiastic coaches at Warwick Sport which helped her to develop,” said mum Kate.

“She enjoys her time in the pool, whether lessons or playing, and is now swimming three times a week as a part of the club set-up.” 

Amelia, from Coventry, progressed through three learning stages at the Hub, and has swimming in her genes with her grandmother having swam competitively.

“Amelia could swim independently but needed to refine her strokes and joining the programme helped with that,” said her mum Samantha.

“She’s found something she is good at now and enjoys it. Covid has halted her swimming a bit but she can’t wait to get back into the pool and push on again.” 

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Director of Sport & Active Communities at the University of Warwick, added: “The Learn to Swim programme has been a great success to date and to be able to partner with the City of Coventry Swimming Club has been very beneficial.

“Our swimming timetable has been designed to ensure that cleaning of equipment can be completed between lessons and we will be utilising the size of our pool to allow swimming for children at a safe distance.

“Coming out of lockdown swimming is a fun way for children to get active again. We’ve welcomed swimmers with a wide range of abilities from the age of four and above, and to see some of the children going on to swim competitively is a fantastic achievement.” 

Parents are still able to watch their children from the viewing gallery despite reduce seating to allow for social distancing.

To find out more about the Learn to Swim programme and enquire about joining visit www.warwick.ac.uk/learntoswim

Pictured: From left to right - Catherine Eaton-Brown (Participation Manager, University of Warwick), Amelia Gane (9), Sasha Gandhi (8), Alexandra Castree (8) and Jessica Jelley (City of Coventry Swimming Club)

 

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