This weekend sees the start of Drowning Prevention Week (19 to 26 June) and Active Halton will focus swimming lessons on water safety to provide children and young people with the skills and knowledge to keep themselves and others safe while enjoying the water.
From the very youngest ‘ducklings’ who are just learning to swim, to the most advanced swimmers, everyone attending Active Halton lessons will be given vital information that could prevent them from getting into trouble in the water.
They will learn crucial new skills so they are aware of how to act if they do find themselves in difficulty. These skills will include safe entry and exits, floating and sculling, fall-in entry, treading water and shout and signal rescues.
In addition, parents and carers will be given access to a range of free resources including online learning lessons, workbooks and worksheets, top tips on teaching children basic water safety skills and essential water safety advice.
On average, each week, more than 700 children attend school swimming lessons with Active Halton and around 800 children and young people are part of its ‘Learn to Swim’ programme.
Cllr Paul Nolan, Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member responsible for Halton’s leisure services, stresses the importance of Drowning Prevention Week. He says: “Sadly, we are aware of the statistics which estimate that around one million children in the UK could leave primary school in the next five years unable to swim to the minimum standard required under the national curriculum.
“That is why we are continuing to develop and enhance our Active Halton aquatics offer to babies, pre-school children, children and adults with special educational needs, teenagers and adults.”
Active Halton has signed up to the Swim England School Swimming and Water Safety Charter. This means through the Active Halton School Swimming Programme the Council will be equipping local children and young people with water safety and core aquatic skills that could help save lives.
Cllr Nolan added: “We will be encouraging as many schools as possible to get involved, which will also give them access to a wide range of downloadable resources to help plan and deliver school swimming lessons, classroom resources and worksheets, water safety presentation and template letters to parents.”
Schools who are looking to get involved should contact the Aquatics Manager.
For details of Active Halton swimming lessons go to https://activehalton.co.uk/, or call Kingsway Leisure Centre/Brookvale Recreation Centre on 0151 495 2200 / 01928 712 051.