Every child in Conwy to learn to swim

12 September 2017, 09:21

Child swimming

Conwy has become one of the first parts of the country where every child will be taught to swim by the time they leave primary school.

The target means by 2020, every Year Six child in Conwy should be able to swim 25m without help.

The latest figures from 2016 show only 40 per cent of children left primary school in Conwy able to swim.

To achieve the target Conwy Council is introducing a new “crash course” for swimming lessons. Children will swim every day for ten days, rather than just in weekly sessions. The council says trials of intensive lessons show pupils learn to swim more quickly.

Osian Williams, Principal PE & Sport Officer has told Heart the swimming lessons will improve children's fitness, improve their safety around water and potentially save lives.

 “We have lots of children who only go swimming with school, and if they only have a few sessions a year, it’s likely they won’t be able to swim competently at the end of it.

“We need all our children to be educated in terms of what to do if they fall in a river, or out to sea. This will help them to understand the risks, but know what to do to keep themselves safe.”

“We’re excited at the prospect of this new approach to swimming lessons. We want all Conwy pupils to be able to swim so that they have the skills to take part in a wide range of healthy activities.”

However, the additional swimming lessons will cause disruption for adults using Llandudno Swimming Centre. The pool will be closed to the public every morning, from 9am to 12pm, from September until May 2018.

A spokesman for Conwy Council has apologised: "These changes may cause some inconvenience, but we're sure that our customers will understand the importance of making sure children in Conwy learn to swim.

"We'd like to thank them for their patience and support."

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