Community campaigners and local councillors have raised concerns about the number of children with being taught to swim.
The latest figures from the Amateur Swimming Association show that nearly half of all children (45%) aged 7 to 11 were not able to swim 25 metres.
Community campaigner David Prendergast wants to see primary schools in the Loughton and Shenley area have access to swimming lessons. He has joined with Loughton and Shenley councillor Zoe Nolan in discussions with Stantonbury leisure centre about offering more swimming to the under 11 year olds.
David and Zoe are especially impressed that Stantonbury has introduced access for disabled young people and has been promoting sport for wheelchair users.
David Prendergast, who has a guide dog said “I want all children in the Loughton and Shenley area to have swimming lessons. I want to ensure that disabled young people also have the same choice.”
He added, “Our local pool was closed down, sold off and is now a supermarket despite opposition from the community. Action is needed now to offer children access to swimming.”
Cllr Zoe Nolan has backed David Prendergast’s call for action. She said, “I would be willing to help persuade all six local primary schools of the merits of organising swimming lessons at Stantonbury or at Wolverton pools. The disabled facility at Stantonbury is a positive option for some young disabled people learning to swim.”
She continued, “Teaching young people to swim is part of becoming safe in life. It is also about building confidence and promoting enjoyment.”
David Prendergast concluded, “I am pleased to work with my local councillors to try and put in place swimming for all young people. I would be especially pleased if we could deliver such a service, through the schools, for young disabled people who should have the same opportunities as other young people.”