Pool Hero Dives Into The Borders For Starring Role

by Catriona Conway-Mortimer

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Swimming champ makes waves in the borders with once in a lifetime swimming lesson

Pre Schoolers take the plunge to learn how to swim Scottish PR

SCOTTISH pool hero Duncan Scott will make a splash in the Borders next month as he gives kids a once-in-a-lifetime swim class.

Duncan, who just set a new British record for 100m Freestyle of 47.87 seconds at the British Championships in Glasgow last week, will join scores of children to celebrate the success of the region’s Learn to Swim framework which has reached almost 3,000 local kids from birth upwards.

The event with the Olympic medallist, World, Common and European Champion will take place on May 3rd at Teviotdale Leisure Centre in Hawick.

More than 60 children from the Live Borders Learn to Swim programme will join Duncan in the pool and get the chance to ask him for his top tips and advice in a Q&A session on the day.

The Learn to Swim Framework, which teaches children of all abilities from birth upwards, is delivered by Live Borders, in partnership with Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water.

Amanda Blacklock, Aquatics Officer at Live Borders, said: “There’s a bit of a buzz around the place as we await Duncan’s arrival. The kids here love swimming and Duncan is a great role model for them all.”

Duncan, who proudly takes on the role of Learn to Swim Ambassador, won six medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia last year – the most won ever by a Scottish athlete at a single Games.

PR photograph of Duncan Scott delivering a swimming lesson at Tollcross International Swimming Pool in Glasgow at

His other achievements include becoming National Lottery Athlete of the Year and winning two silvers at his first Olympic Games in Rio.

Ally Whike, Performance Director of Scottish Swimming, said: “653 of the children in Learn to Swim classes in the Borders are aged 0-4 years, so Live Borders deserves high praise for introducing swimming from such a young age, as it brings with it a whole host of benefits.”

There are already more than 75,000 kids – including 5,600 pre-school children – who are on the national programme and the target is to reach 100,000 children across Scotland by 2020. It’s also great to see that Live Borders are developing links between the Learn to Swim programme and the swimming clubs in the area as part of the swimming pathway”

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs for Scottish Water, said: “Swimming is more than just a sport – it’s a key life skill. Scotland is surrounded by miles of coastline, rivers and lochs and so it’s essential that children are confident around water.

“In supporting the Learn to Swim programme, we’re hoping to not just create a happier and healthier country, but a safer one too.

“It also partners perfectly with our Your Water Your Life campaign. We want to encourage young swimmers, like everyone, to stay hydrated – and what better way to do that than from the fresh water straight from the tap?”

A recent study of the impact of Scottish Swimming’s National Learn to Swim Framework supported by Scottish Water has found overwhelming approval from parents and from managers tasked with delivering the lessons across Scotland.

The Framework helps to create quality Learn to Swim environments for children, giving them opportunities to progress through the aquatic pathway and to swim for fun.

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Catriona Conway-Mortimer, account executive with Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, Scotland

Catriona Conway-Mortimer

Catriona Conway-Mortimer is part of the award-winning PR team at Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

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