A third of 11-year-olds can’t swim
Almost a third of 11-year-olds in England leave primary school unable to swim but one local swimming club is determined to get more people swimming or at least give it a try and maybe conquer their fears.
Skegness Swimming Club is trying its hardest to encourage non-swimmers into the water and lately their efforts resulted in an increase in membership with two or three people joining the club. They even provide taster sessions which are free!
According to a recent survey, an overwhelming 94% of parents believe it is important for their child to be able to swim competently by the end of primary school but it is estimated that almost 80% of the population are not confident swimmers and, fearful of drowning, many consider the pastime dangerous.
Many of those joining the east coast club soon find they become competitive and get involved in inter-club competitions. The club is also keen to provide facilities to pupils of local schools; the aim is to get youngsters swimming 25 meters before the end of Year 6. Lessons help children gain an important skill and have fun doing it. Some go on to be very competitive too.
A young member of Skegness Swimming Club, recently returning from an event in Leicester, said: “In total, we enjoyed a fantastic haul of five golds, three silvers and two bronzes! Others without medals weren’t disappointed as they were happy they achieved personal bests.”
Swimming also provides loads of health benefits too and these can help children be healthy and happy at the same time. As the Swim England website states: “Swimming keeps your child’s heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and even improves balance and posture.”
Last words go to Paul Whiteman, from the National Association of Head Teachers, who says ‘the government must invest, or risk seeing a further decline in swimming amongst primary age children’.
Eryn, Year 6