Adam Peaty effect sparks new calls over swimming pools and lessons – The Yorkshire Post says

THE reaction of readers – and subscribers – to this newspaper’s coverage about the state of Yorkshire’s swimming pools, and their importance from the point of view of both health and water safety, reveals a level of interest which now needs to be recognised nationally as Olympic champion Adam Peaty brings his coaching clinics to Harrogate and other parts of the country.

Olympic swimming champion Adam Peaty during a coaching clinic in Harrogate this week.

In an unscientific poll, nearly 96 per cent of respondents said that learning to swim should be part of schooling. And, when people pointed out, quite rightly, that it is already on the National Curriculum, The Yorkshire Post learned that 20 per cent of children are unable to swim unaided by the time that they leave primary school – the Government’s own benchmark.

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Olympic swimming champion Adam Peaty during a coaching clinic in Harrogate this week.

Yet, while youngsters, families and schools here do appear to be more proficient than other regions according to Swim England’s data, it will be more challenging to meet the objective in future if swimming pools continue to close at the current rate because of inadequate investment and support.

Swimming remains one of the most important skills of all – it can be a matter of life and death in certain circumstances. However even the best teachers will struggle to fulfil the National Curriculum’s requirement if sessions at local pools are either over-subscribed or it is impractical to transport pupils to the nearest facility because of the distance involved.

As Swim England’s dynamic chief executive Jane Nickerson MBE pointed out, there has to be the pools and time available for a child to learn to swim 25 metres unaided. That’s the next challenge.

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