Swimming with Confidence

Everyone can Swim!

This is the strapline Scottish Swimming use to gain support from the Scottish Government for their campaign which aims to ensure that everyone can swim.

At the recent Parliamentary Reception to promote this campaign, Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell spoke about getting active, building confidence and gaining resilience; just some of the many benefits that swimming brings to people at all ages and stages of life.

swimming campaign launch with lady addressing a meeting
Aileen Campbell talks about getting active, building confidence and gaining resilience

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Sport Unit currently provides a comprehensive curricular swimming programme that offers lessons to every primary school in the City.

Our swimming teachers regularly discover that some pupils who may be struggling in other subject areas find themselves excelling in the pool, not just in executing the strokes but in cooperating with and supporting other pupils.

‘Edinburgh are to be commended for continuing to provide children with the opportunity to learn to swim at school as for many of the children living in the more socially disadvantaged areas of the city it will be their only opportunity to do so’

According to the Director of Development at Scottish Swimming Sharon MacDonald, ‘Edinburgh City Council are one of few local authorities across Scotland who provide a comprehensive school swimming programme. This programme provides children across the city with the opportunity to learn a vital life skill. Edinburgh’s programme is hailed by Scottish Swimming, the governing body for aquatics in Scotland as one of the best school swimming programmes as it is delivered by excellent teachers who have a wealth of experience in teaching children and swimming.

Edinburgh are to be commended for continuing to provide children with the opportunity to learn to swim at school as for many of the children living in the more socially disadvantaged areas of the city it will be their only opportunity to do so’.

swimming with confidence, two swimmers in the pool

As part of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships legacy, Edinburgh is to receive £8,000 to reintroduce our award winning ‘Swimming Top Up’ programme throughout 2018. This programme will target eighteen primary schools in Edinburgh in areas of multiple deprivation, with the aim of increasing the number of pupils who leave school deemed safe swimmers.

The Top Up programme provides funding to employ additional swimming coaches, mainly from Edinburgh Leisure, as CEC Swimming teacher Fiona Hamilton explains, ‘I have been working collaboratively with the Swim Co-ordinators from Edinburgh Leisure and have found them both to be flexible, helpful and friendly. Using a group of Level 2 coaches, we have identified sessions where the coaches will lead small sessions with the pupils. More importantly, it has had a positive impact on the pupils. Each lesson that I would have been leading by myself has been enhanced by additional coaches. I have organised the classes into smaller differentiated groups which helps to provide a faster pace and a higher frequency of individual feedback to the pupils’.

Footnote: Over the last 5 years, 60% of pupils participating in the Council’s swimming programme leave primary school having achieved a safe swimmer award.

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