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Bury St Edmunds pool to give free swimming lessons to children in years five and six



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A leisure centre in Suffolk is funding free swimming lessons for children that missed out due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In partnership with Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Abbeycroft Leisure have developed an initiative that will see pupils in years five and six given a crash course in swimming during the summer holidays.

This comes as a response to a report from Swim England published last year, which predicted one million children in the UK could leave primary school in the next five years unable to swim at the minimum standards, required under the national curriculum.

Children in years five and six have missed out on swimming lessons due to the pandemic. Picture: Submitted
Children in years five and six have missed out on swimming lessons due to the pandemic. Picture: Submitted

Warren Smyth, CEO at Abbeycroft, said: "This is a great initiative as we all know how important it is for children to have the opportunity to learn to swim and it makes perfect sense to deliver it within our Swim Academy framework with fully qualified, passionate teachers."

Mr Smyth, encouraged parents and carers, who think they are eligible to sign up here.

Following Swim England's Learn to Swim pathway, the children will be taught with children of their own age group, as part of a five-day course, during August.

Councillor Jo Rayner, from Bury St Edmunds Town Council, said: "Swimming is a safety skill which some children would have missed during the covid lockdowns.

"I am delighted to be part of a group of town councillors who are working with Abbeycroft to use our locality budgets to provide the crash courses for free to residents over the summer holidays."

Cllr Rayner, added: "It could make all the difference to someone, one day, and will be an activity children can enjoy throughout their lives."