Helping to Create an Olympic Splash in East Lothian
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
on behalf of Scottish Water
Scottish Water scores a PR hit with help from an Olympic swimming star and group of primary school kids
OLYMPIC swimming hero Duncan Scott joined a group of delighted school children to launch East Lothian’s Learn to Swim programme, supported by Scottish Water.
The double Olympic silver medallist made a splash at the pool in North Berwick Sports Centre, East Lothian, when he gave swimming tips to local primary school pupils.
Duncan, 20, is the official ambassador for the Learn to Swim programme which was developed by the national governing body, Scottish Swimming and is now being rolled out nationwide as part of a three-year partnership with Scottish Water.
He thrilled the group of primary four pupils from Law Primary in North Berwick by joining them in the water before a question and answer session which saw the youngsters quiz him about his love of the sport, his Olympic experience in Rio and his gruelling training session.
Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water (on the right in this photo) said: “We’re proud and excited to be the official partner of the Learn to Swim programme.
“It’s not just a worthy objective to encourage children and young people to swim and it’s great to see the sheer joy and enthusiasm of so many of the youngsters who are taking part.”
By supporting Scottish Swimming’s national Learn to Swim framework, Scottish Water hopes to see 100,000 children get involved in the scheme, which highlights the importance of swimming from as early an age as possible – as the first seven years are the most influential in establishing good exercise habits and setting foundations for learning throughout life.
Brian added: “Scotland is a country famed for its watercourses – our river, lochs and reservoirs are popular places to visit. Wherever people like to swim, we want them to be safe. That means swimming is a key life skill, one that could literally save a life in certain circumstances.
“It’s also about having fun. Some of these children may go on to emulate world-class swimmers like Duncan. But for most, it will simply be about having a good time with friends while also getting fit and improving health and well-being.
“For all these reasons we’re delighted to be a part of this and look forward to pushing on with the programme and to helping Scottish Swimming achieve its vision of making sure that everyone can swim.”
The launch in North Berwick was to celebrate the adoption of the Learn to Swim framework in East Lothian by the Leisure Trust, enjoyleisure, which runs the county’s swimming pools and sports facilities.
The enjoyleisure Learn to Swim programme – which is being run as ‘Get in the Swim’ – starts with its Early Years Programme for infants aged from 4 months old. The programme is designed to make learning to swim fun while enabling children to progress through the swimmer pathway all the way up to club / competitive levels and a lifelong enjoyment of swimming.
The new lesson programme also introduces a new rolling 48-week schedule of lessons, to allow for continuous development and smoother transitions through the framework. Additionally, each participant enrolled in the scheme benefits from free casual swimming throughout the year, to encourage further development and enjoyment of the sport.
In recognition of the swimming development pathway in East Lothian, representatives from East Lothian’s elite Swim Team were also invited to attend a dedicated coached session with Duncan, so they too could learn from his expertise and look-on as he demonstrated his award-winning talents.
Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Swimming, welcomed the launch, in East Lothian, one of 15 Leisure Trusts across Scotland which has already embraced the programme.
He added: “The partnership with Scottish Water will help to roll the Learn to Swim programme out across Scotland over the next three years, enabling children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to learn to swim – an essential life skill.”
Bill Axon, General Manager of enjoyleisure said everyone involved was delighted to welcome Duncan to North Berwick for the launch and to see his ability to inspire the young swimmers.
He added: “Swimming is a fantastic sport to enjoy both recreationally and competitively, however with East Lothian’s expansive coastline it is also a key life skill for county residents.
“Over the coming months we aim to expand our lesson schedule further to be able to offer more local children the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the sport.”
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