MY VIEW: It’s time for children to take the plunge

The number of children able to swim by the time they leave primary school is dropping.
The number of children able to swim by the time they leave primary school is dropping.
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It might not feel like it yet thanks to the unpredictability of the British weather – but summer is just around the corner.

For many families, now is the time when they are to think about their summer holiday. Now is also the time when youngsters start to enjoy playing outside more and making the most of the brighter nights.

For us, it is the time when we urge people, who’ve not yet thought about it, to think about safety in the water.

We already teach thousands of young people across the borough to swim every year but we know, and national statistics back this up, that there are thousands out there who cannot swim.

Figures say that one in three children cannot swim so we are launching a water safety programme with a free swimming assessment for all children from across the borough.

Swimming is one of the most important skills a person can learn. Sadly more than 400 people drown in the UK every year.

Activities such as going to the beach to swim and surf require swimming and water safety skills. Even being near to the water calls for an awareness of water safety.

With 1 in 10 people saying that their child’s inability to swim has affected where they choose to go on holiday, we feel that it is time to take action and get Doncaster swimming.

It’s not just the children. A recent article in the national press stated that one in five adults in England can’t swim. Our message is that it is never too late to learn.

DCLT run a number of extremely popular ‘learn to swim’ classes through its splash academy and already children and adults from across the borough are learning to swim at our venues.

Water safety is so important at this time of year when families go on holiday and children and young people spend more time outdoors near rivers and lakes. We’d really like to see Doncaster buck this national trend and get more of our young people confident in the water.

Our lessons are taught by Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) trained instructors and all children follow a programme which helps them to develop skill and strength in the water.

The free swimming assessment is available at nine DCLT pools across Doncaster which includes Adwick Leisure Centre, Armthorpe Leisure Centre, Askern Leisure Centre, Dearne Valley Leisure Centre, Edlington Leisure Centre, Rossington Leisure Centre, St James Leisure Centre, The Dome and Thorne Leisure Centre.

n To book your free assessment call 0844 3100020 or visit