All primary schools in Skegness and Horncastle, part of the David Ross Education Trust, are eligible to apply for places for Year 6 students who cannot swim 25m. Over 180 children are expected to benefit by September 2023.
The Free-School swimming initiative available in Skegness and Horncastle over the next 12 months represents a partnership between the Magna Vitae Community Trust for Leisure & Culture and David Ross Education Trust.
Five local schools signed up when the scheme launched this summer, enabling 77 eligible Year 6 children for local primary schools to dive straight in. The programme has now been extended, and an additional 105 places will be available in 2023.
The ambition is for all children to swim 25m unaided by the end of the programme and before they leave primary school.
All participants will receive a Free-Swimming membership in addition to an intensive 6-week course of lessons. The membership bolt-on will allow children to develop their skills outside of their lessons in their local Magna Vitae pool.
Magna Vitae will also provide all children with family swim vouchers to encourage families to swim together. The vouchers, which come at a time when families feel the rising cost of living, will allow quality family time and give children a further opportunity develop their water confidence.
Naomi Wilkinson-Baker, General Manager, Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure & Culture, said: “We are delighted to work with the School Sports Partnership team to support local children in developing swimming and water safety skills. By extending the initiative to include swimming outside of lessons, children will discover how fun swimming can be, and families will have the opportunity to enjoy being physically active together.”
Sport England funds the Free-Swimming initiative as a legacy grant to inspire physical activity following the Commonwealth Games. The funding provides access to swimming lessons, allowing children to participate in physical activity, learn a new sport, and develop life skills and water competence.
The schools currently providing this opportunity to their pupils are Huttoft Primary, The Richmond School, St Peter and St Paul’s CofE- Burgh Le Marsh, Alford Primary, and Horncastle Primary. However, not all swimming lessons will take occur during school hours, with some schools opting for their students to utilise these free sessions as part of Magna Vitae’s community Learn to Swim ‘Waterwise’ programme.
Ellie, Beachell School Games Organiser and Primary Out-reach Coordinator, North Charnwood and Skegness School Sports Partnership, said:
“The top -up swimming programme has hugely supported coastal primary school children with a local need. It has enabled many children to learn to swim, become more confident in the water and understand the importance of water safety. I am hugely grateful to Magna Vitae for supporting this programme and delivering the fun yet vital programme to these children.”