Calderdale Council is reminding people how important it is to learn to swim, after a report revealed that over 1.1 million primary school children will break up for the summer holidays unable to be safe in and around water.
To help boost their skills and confidence, the Council is running additional swimming lessons at all Calderdale pools this summer.
Recent figures from a national ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) survey of 3,501 primary schools, revealed that 51per cent of children aged 7-11 cant swim 25 metres unaided – the length of a typical swimming pool.
The report, the largest ever investigation into the state of school swimming, found that schools are not achieving anywhere near the recommended level of delivery time.
The average state school pupil spends just 8 hours and 15 minutes a year in swimming lessons at school, which is well under the 22 hours the Department for Education recommends in the current National Curriculum.
Figures like these highlight the need for children to have a basic level of swimming ability, to ensure they are safe, especially during warm weather when there is more risk of children visiting open water, where they could get into difficulties.
Over the summer, centres across Calderdale are running a programme of activities, including crash courses in learning to swim, lifesaving courses and snorkelling and diving lessons – helping to keep children safe in all situations. There are also fun swims for those who want to spend time with their families in the water over the summer.
The crash courses at Calderdale swimming pools give children an intensive course of half-hour lessons over five days, where children can learn and have fun in a safe environment.
The difference that a week of lessons can make to a child’s ability is incredible. Often parents are astounded at the progress that their child makes in a short time.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Steve Sweeney said:
“It’s incredibly important that children have at least a basic level of swimming ability. Many accidents involving water can be avoided, and crash courses like these can really help those who can’t commit to long-term lessons.
“Many children in Calderdale already swim with their school, but courses like this can give them a head start if they haven’t already begun school lessons, or build on what they have already achieved, both in ability and confidence, if they already visit a pool for out-of-school lessons or with their school.”
The activities are available at Todmorden Sports Centre, Brighouse Pool and Fitness Centre and Halifax Pool. For a full timetable of events visit Sport and fitness and click on the link for your nearest fitness centre.