Swim England has said that two million youngsters missed out on the chance to go swimming due to the government coronavirus lockdowns.
New data released by Swim England has revealed the true extent the national lockdowns over the past 12 months have had on youngsters and the stark reality that a generation may miss out on learning a valuable life skill.
The statistics show that more than five million swimming sessions, the vast majority being swimming lessons, were lost following the closure of public pools for the first time on 20 March 2020.
Harrogate District Swimming club (HDSC) return to training after the latest easing of restrictions on 12 April 12020, and continued this week as the club agreed extra pool time with Harrogate Borough Council to allow the Disability Swimming squad, known as “Hotshots” return. The club have given special thanks to Danni Mulholland from Harrogate Borough Council for championing their return.
Their first session will be on Tuesday 4 May taken by their coach Lisa Gill who is very excited to see all the swimmers back after such a long time away. Some have not been back in the water for over a year.
This takes the total number of Swimmers now back in the pool under the Club Squad scheme to over 60.
HDSC are continuing to work hand in hand with the council and the new LACC (who will be taking over the running of the Hydro) to hopefully return to normal as quickly as restrictions allow.
Indoor pools were allowed to reopen on Monday 12 April and Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said people were returning to the water in droves.
Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive said:
We are absolutely thrilled to see swimming pools across the country reopen their doors and it’s been great that parents and children are returning to their lessons in a safe and Covid-secure environment.
Swimming is a fantastic way for children and young people to be active and reap both physical and mental health benefits.
However, being able to swim and stay safe in the water is also an invaluable life skill. With access to facilities limited due to the pandemic, we expect that there will be some regression amongst children’s swimming ability.
With summer upon us, I fear for children’s safety in the water and would strongly recommend parents and guardians to be proactive in making up for the lost time.
I hope that through regular swimming lessons and more pool time, we will be able to avoid ‘a lost generation’ of children and young people who cannot swim and keep themselves safe in the water.