COVID-safe swim school encourages parents not to delay swim lessons

A children’s swimming programme at the University of Warwick has adapted to continue teaching kids to swim and stay fit while keeping them COVID-safe.

Pictured from left: Catherine Eaton-Brown, Participation Manager; three young swimmers, aged eight to nine; and Jessica Jelley from City of Coventry Swimming Club.

A Coventry swimming school is encouraging parents to sign-up their young ones as a fun, COVID-safe way for children to get active again after the lockdown.

Learn to Swim, which runs at the University of Warwick’s Sports and Wellness Hub, is helping children keep fit in a COVID-safe environment, develop an essential life skill and provide a pathway onto competitive swimming.

The programme works with more than 400 young swimmers and delivers over 100 classes a week.

The swim school has had to implement measures since reopening to ensure children are safe, with teachers being trained to adapt to a new style of teaching from the side of the pool.

The number of people in the swimming pool and changing facilities has also been restricted to allow safe social distancing.

Amelia, Sasha, Gandhi and Alexandra all joined Learn to Swim and have gone on to successfully trial for City of Coventry Swimming Club.

The University’s sporting facilities features a 12-lane, 25 metre pool and is designed to provide for swimmers of all skill-levels, from leisure to competitive.

Alexandra, from Coventry, completed her level six and seven with the programme after not achieving her potential at another swim school.

Her mum, Victoria, explained: “We wanted our children to learn to swim because it’s an important life skill and once Alexandra got the hang of it she loved it.

“She had been with a school before but needed a larger pool to build her stamina and they had that at Warwick.

“The link with the swim club is great too. Alexandra passed the 10-week trial session and is in the club now. We’re very proud of her.”

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, from the University of Warwick, praised the swimming programme as a “great success”, adding that their partnership with the City of Coventry Swimming Club has been “very beneficial”.

“Coming out of lockdown swimming is a fun way for children to get active again.

“We’ve welcomed swimmers with a wide range of abilities from the age of four and above, and to see some of the children going on to swim competitively is a fantastic achievement.”

Parents are still able to watch their children from the viewing gallery despite reduce seating to allow for social distancing.

To find out more about the Learn to Swim programme and enquire about joining visit warwick.ac.uk/learntoswim.