Olympic master class for young swimmers

By on 14/02/2014 in Deputy Leader, News

London 2012 Olympians, Joanne Jackson and Robyn Nicholls, will be at Cocks Moors Wood Leisure Centre on Monday 17 February to meet and swim with hundreds of children in a master class session to celebrate the launch of a new swimming programme.

Jackson, bronze medallist from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, will team up with Nicholls and accompany Trunx, the ASA's water loving mascot, to provide inspiration and a chance for young swimmers to take the plunge with their idols.

This is the second year Trunx has toured the country with GB athletes to celebrate the efforts of youngsters learning to swim, while highlighting the importance of pool safety and the benefits of swimming for health and wellbeing.

The visit will also celebrate the recent commitment by Birmingham City Council to implement their 'Strokes for Life' swimming programme across 15 separate sites.  'Strokes for Life' follows the British Gas ASA 'Learn to Swim' Pathway.

The 'Learn to Swim' Pathway incorporates the Kellogg's ASA Award Scheme which rewards children for achieving milestones in their swimming activities. It is the most successful award scheme of its kind in the world, with over two million certificates awarded to date.

During the visit to Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre, over 200 children will be joined in the pool by the British aquatics stars. They will also talk to the children about their experiences and encourage them to continue learning this life saving skill, before presenting them with a limited edition certificate to recognise their efforts. 

Recent research by the ASA and Kellogg's suggests that 47% of children aged 7-11 are unable to swim the length of a standard swimming pool, which leaves them unsafe in or around water. This is reflected by parent's views too - 55% of respondents did not believe their child could swim to safety if they had to.

These statistics are made worse by the fact drowning still remains one of the main causes of accidental death in children and young people in the UK.

Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said:  ”We are very proud to be supporting such an occasion which encourages the younger generation of our city to learn valuable water skills that will aid them for life.”

The ASA made the decision to run the 'Trunx on Tour' event in Birmingham in the hope that a visit from Olympians might spur more parents to get their children learning this life saving skill. The new programme should provide around 12,000 children with opportunities to learn to swim and also attract people of all ages to the sport, for fun and fitness, and at a competitive level, contributing to growing the English talent pool.

The leisure centre will run a number of in-pool activities on the day designed to give children a taste of the varied range of aquatic sports, with six different activities from Mini-Polo to the Flip-n-Fun introduction to diving.

David Sparkes, CEO of the Amateur Swimming Association, said: “This initiative is about raising awareness of the importance of children learning to swim and encouraging their efforts as they try and achieve the required level of competence and confidence in the water. Perhaps we may even inspire one or two of our future Olympic and Paralympic stars along the way

“We also are delighted that Cocks Moors Woods Leisure has announced their commitment to the British Gas ASA 'Learn to Swim' pathway.  It is clear that the facility believes that supporting children in learning to swim will help achieve a fitter, healthier and, perhaps above all, safer generation of young people.”

~Ends~

Media Contact
Oliver Baker – ASA Marketing Team
Email:
oliver.baker@swimming.org  Phone: 01509 640 264

Notes to Editors:

The Amateur Swimming Association

The ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) is the English national governing body for swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo. It organises competition throughout England, establishes the laws of the sport, and operates a comprehensive certification and education programmes for teachers, coaches and officials.

There are 1,220 affiliated swimming clubs, which are supported by the ASA through a national, regional and county structure. Millions of children have been taught to swim through the ASA's learn to swim programmes.  The ASA also develops programmes and initiatives to increase the number of people swimming and swimming more often.

About British Gas

British Gas are supporting British Swimming at all levels. From helping the British Swimming Teams win more medals, to getting more people in the water with SwimBritain. British Gas is giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy swimming.

The ASA Learn to Swim Pathway

The British Gas ASA Learn to Swim Pathway is an all-inclusive programme which takes the non swimmer from his or her first splash to developing confidence and competence in the water. Read on to learn more.  Already the most successful sports programme of its kind, the British Gas ASA Learn to Swim Pathway is a refreshed version of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming (NPTS).

The British Gas ASA Learn to Swim Pathway consists of four frameworks, including a brand new Adult Swimming Framework, for adults looking to learn or improve their skills in the pool.

ASA Foundation Framework
ASA Learn to Swim Framework (stages 1-7)
ASA Aquatic Skills Framework (stages 8-10)
ASA Adult Swimming Framework

Kellogg's

Over the past 16 years the Kellogg's and ASA award scheme has seen over 2 million people develop their swimming skills and receive certificates and badges. Kellogg's mission to help thousands of families get active by swimming as a regular part of their lives has also lead to the creation of Kellogg's Swim Active an initiative that has successfully broken down barriers to participation across the country.
 
Kellogg's Swimtastic Awards provides the opportunity to recognize those in the community who have made an active contribution to swimming in or out of the pool.

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