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British Gas Pools 4 Schools wins Prime Minister’s Big Society Award

6 September 2013

British Gas Pools 4 Schools, a programme that takes temporary swimming pools to schools and communities across England, to teach swimming, has been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron with a Big Society Award.

A partnership programme between British Gas, the Amateur Swimming Association and Total Swimming, British Gas Pools 4 Schools aims to get more children swimming and has already helped 30,000 youngsters across the country learn since its launch in 2009.

"British Gas’s Pools 4 Schools is a fantastic initiative," - Prime Minister David CameronThe initiative constructs temporary mobile swimming pools for up to 12 weeks, often in schools that do not have access to pools. After school hours, the pools are open to the community so that as many people as possible in the local area benefit.

Each school is also visited by an inspirational Olympian who gives a special swimming lesson in the pool. Lessons have been given by Olympic gold medallists Rebecca Adlington and Duncan Goodhew, and multiple world champion Mark Foster.

Since its launch in 2009, British Gas Pools 4 Schools has:

  • taught 30,000 children to swim
  • installed 25 temporary pools across the UK,
  • over 200 swimming teachers helped over 5,000 people take part in community sessions out of school hours.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “British Gas’s Pools 4 Schools is a fantastic initiative. Swimming isn’t just good exercise and a great hobby, it can also be a life saving skill.

“Taking swimming to where its needed most has already helped 30,000 children learn to swim and 5,000 people go along to after school sessions.

“I’m delighted to be recognising the hard work of the teams at British Gas, Total Swimming and the Amateur Swimming Association with this Big Society Award.”

Double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington, who has been lending her support to British Gas Pools 4 Schools, added: “British Gas Pools 4 Schools has been hugely effective in helping children learn to swim, especially those from disadvantaged areas.

"I am delighted that the British Gas Pools 4 Schools programme has been recognised for such a special award," - "Swimming is our nation’s most popular sport and a life skill, so these opportunities for everyone to learn are vital. I’m delighted that British Gas Pools 4 Schools has been recognised with this Award and I’m looking forward to getting even more kids in the water!”

Abi Robins, Brand Director at British Gas, said: "We are very proud that British Gas Pools 4 Schools has already helped more than 30,000 children learn to swim and we hope many more youngsters will benefit from the programme moving into a new school year.

"British Gas have worked in partnership with the ASA and Total Swimming to deliver our key mission, to teach children to swim and equip them with confidence and skills in the water. This will hopefully allow them to enjoy swimming for the rest of their lives.”

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the ASA said: “I am delighted that the British Gas Pools 4 Schools programme has been recognised for such a special award. The ASA has a belief that every child should learn to swim, but sadly we know that many children never have the opportunity to learn this life saving skill.

"As an organisation the ASA, together with our partners, are proud to have put in place such a critical programme to reach those children likely to enter secondary school, and adulthood, without access to a sport that has the ability to keep them fit, healthy and safe throughout their lives”

The first project of the new 2013 / 2014 school year will be delivered at the Oasis Academy in Oldham.

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