Thousands enjoy free swimming

MORE than 6,600 people have taken advantage of free swimming available at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre over the past six months. Casual swimming is available free for all those aged 16 and under and the over 60s for just a �2 registration fee until 2011, as part of a Government-funded initiative to entice people back to the pool.

MORE than 6,600 people have taken advantage of free swimming available at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre over the past six months.

Casual swimming is available free for all those aged 16 and under and the over 60s for just a �2 registration fee until 2011, as part of a Government-funded initiative to entice people back to the pool. Swimmers still have a chance to register for the scheme which will be running for another year and a half.

Ferdi Vincent, 72, from Badwell Ash, said: “As a septuagenarian with an immense fear of water, after a near fatal accident, I am now more confident in the water. Much praise must go to the swimming instructors whose enthusiasm, encouragement and patience have never wavered despite my slow progress. I am especially grateful to my instructors Sarah and Kate for their optimism and belief in my ability to overcome my fear of water. In fact I eagerly look forward to my coaching sessions and know that one day I will be a competent swimmer.”

The leisure centre is also running a series of free six-week swimming lessons for youngsters aged 11 to 16 and for the over 60s who are beginners or inexperienced swimmers. The next course for the over 60s runs from 11 January to 15 February every Monday from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. The next 11 to 16 course starts on Sunday 27 February at 10am and will include free entry to the Wet n Wild swim session.


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In addition to the free swimming lessons, a Swim Buddy scheme has started at the Centre with a swimming instructor available at the poolside to offer help and support to those wanting technique advice during public swimming times on Monday between 2.30pm and 3.30pm, Thursdays between 1.30pm and 3pm and Sundays between 3pm and 4pm.

There's also a free 12-week course for those with disabilities starts on January 8 from 10.45am to 11.45am in conjunction with the Centre's Big Splash disability swimming sessions in partnership with Optua Leisure. The first course will be for those who are semi-independent and will require minimum carer support in the water.

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Simon Ginders-Coxshall, general manager at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, said: “We have been delighted by the response to our free swimming scheme and hope that more people in the Bury St Edmunds area will take advantage of free swimming, free lessons, and poolside instructors in the coming months. Swimming is not only fun but a healthy and relaxing activity and is excellent for those returning to exercise after a break because of ill health or inactivity.”

If you are under 16 or over 60 then you can join the free swimming scheme by telephoning 01284 753496 or visit the Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre for an application for. Registration is �2. Also telephone or visit the centre for further details on the free swimming courses.

Visit www.acleisure.com for more information.

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