Just keep swimming this Great British Week of Sport

swimming is great for fitness, is a vital life-skill, and it's great fun Picture: Canva

swimming is great for fitness, is a vital life-skill, and it's great fun Picture: Canva - Credit: Archant

All this week we’ve been looking at ways to get active as part of the Great British Week of Sport. Today’s theme is children and young people, with a particular focus on the fun and fitness benefits of swimming.

Sport has the power to drive positive change and can be a great tool to support people of all ages and abilities to overcome challenges they may be facing. Learning to swim is a great place to start.

Swimming is an excellent way to build fitness stamina, strengthen muscle, lose weight and it’s great for your mental health. It’s also a vital life-skill and children just love the water.

We’re very lucky in Suffolk to have many swimming facilities with excellent swimming lesson programmes and teachers, who all follow Swim England’s Learn to Swim Programme – the national syllabus used to help teachers deliver swimming lessons for all ages to a high and consistent standard.

The all-inclusive programme takes non-swimmers on a journey through four specialised frameworks. These start with the basics of learning to swim and end with advanced skills for sports such as water polo or diving. There is also a framework for teaching adults to swim.

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The Swim England Learn to Swim Programme frameworks are:

? Pre-School Framework – aimed at babies and toddlers aged between 0-5 years old. It helps to build the foundation for a lifelong love of water.

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? Learn to Swim Framework – made up of the seven stages of learning to swim, which develop confident and able swimmers using fun and enjoyment to engage learners.

? Aquatic Skills Framework – made up of three advanced stages, from eight to 10. These build sport specific skills for the other aquatic disciplines: water polo, diving and synchronised swimming.

? Adult Swimming Framework – suitable for older teenagers and adults of all ages, it aims to improve confidence and technique, whatever the learner’s swimming ability.

A customer from Abbeycroft Leisure’s swimming lesson programme at Bury said: “Both my children recently attended their swimming lessons for the first time since March and it was really well organised, the staff were really friendly and helpful, and it was obvious that they had taken the time to plan it. The social distancing measures worked really well.”

And Claire, grandparent of Scarlett who attends swimming lessons at Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury, said: “Scarlett has loved being back in the water having swimming lessons, she’s missed it so much. It is very well organised at the centre so we’ve all felt very safe.”

To find useful links to each of the local operators’ swimming lesson programmes, click here.

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