Swim England stresses the importance of learning to swim

Thu 6 May 2021

Two million youngsters missed out on chance to go swimming during coronavirus pandemic

More than two million youngsters missed out on the chance to go swimming due to the coronavirus pandemic – resulting in almost a quarter of a million children being unable to swim the length of a standard swimming pool.

New data released by Swim England has revealed the true extent the national lockdowns over the past 12 months have had on youngsters and the stark reality that a generation may miss out on learning a valuable life skill.

The statistics show that more than five million swimming sessions – the vast majority being swimming lessons – were lost following the closure of public pools for the first time on 20 March 2020.

That has already led to an additional 240,000 missing out on learning how to swim 25m and 50,000 fewer children now being able to perform a safe self-rescue.

Queen's Leisure Centre is following Swim England's advice and providing Learn to Swim lessons that are held in Covid-secure environment, supporting how vital they are to keep youngsters safe, fit and healthy.

Invaluable life skill

Indoor pools were allowed to reopen on Monday 12 April and Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said people were returning to the water in droves.

She said: “We are absolutely thrilled to see swimming pools across the country reopen their doors and it’s been great that parents and children are returning to their lessons in a safe and Covid-secure environment.

“Swimming is a fantastic way for children and young people to be active and reap both physical and mental health benefits.

“However, being able to swim and stay safe in the water is also an invaluable life skill. With access to facilities limited due to the pandemic, we expect that there will be some regression amongst children’s swimming ability.

“With summer upon us, I fear for children’s safety in the water and would strongly recommend parents and guardians to be proactive in making up for the lost time.

“I hope that through regular swimming lessons and more pool time, we will be able to avoid ‘a lost generation’ of children and young people who cannot swim and keep themselves safe in the water.”

See the full article at Two million youngsters missed out on swimming during pandemic