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LONDON MAYOR LAUNCHES MAKE A SPLASH PROGRAMME

23 Oct 2009

London Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday announced plans for a £7.5 million programme of investment in community sports facilities, which will help deliver his aim to make Londoners more active and healthy.

Gladiators stars Enigma and Storm joined the Mayor and his Commissioner for Sport Kate Hoey on a visit to Greenwood primary school in Ealing, where pupils tried out a mobile pool that has been temporarily installed for use by the school and the local community.

The pool is part of PlaySport London: Make a Splash, a new scheme that offers swimming in parts of London without facilities, which is being delivered in partnership with The ASA, London Swimming, Total Swimming, The Variety Club Children's Charity and serviced office providers MWBex.

The Make a Splash Programme is an initiative designed to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to learn to swim, even if they do not live within the vicinity of a swimming pool. This is achieved through portable pools which are installed on a temporary basis at a range of venues.

The first pool will remain at Greenwood Primary School until 19th December and a second pool is being introduced in the new year, meaning many more people will have a chance to take up the scheme.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “It’s a fantastic project because it teaches kids the joy of swimming, how to do it and it shows that you don’t have to be any good at swimming to get the most out of it, you just have to know how to do it and enjoy it. Some of these guys may well be Olympic champions in 2016 and beyond but it doesn’t matter if they’re not because the main thing is to take part.”

David Sparkes, the ASA Chief Executive said: “Swimming is a vital life skill and a fun activity. As the governing body involved in every component of swimming the ASA wants everyone to have the opportunity to learn to swim and enjoy swimming both for health and enjoyment. Initiatives such as this are an excellent way of giving young and disadvantaged people the opportunity to try swimming and develop skills for life.” 

Tracy Martin, whose children have benefited from using the temporary pool, said: 'My three children attended one of the crash courses and have gained great confidence in the water. This encouraged me to take up swimming lessons which I am enjoying and gaining in confidence. It’s a shame it s going in December.'

Ellen Sousan-Adams, parent of a six-year-old who has been swimming in the pool, said: 'The instructors are great. My son really enjoys coming swimming. It’s a great idea for the community. He's learnt so much in two weeks.'

-ENDS-

Further information about hosting a pool can be found at www.makeasplashlondon.org

For more information contact the ASA Marketing Officer Esther Hope on 01509 632247, 07917 876459 or email esther.hope@swimming.org.

The ASA is the English National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Open Water, and Synchronised Swimming. It organises competition throughout England, establishes the Laws of the Sport and operates comprehensive certification and education programmes for Teachers, Coaches and Officials as well as its renowned Learn To Swim Awards scheme. The ASA supports 1,220 affiliated swimming clubs through a National/Regional/County structure. The ASA aims to ensure everybody has an opportunity to learn to swim.

About British Gas
British Gas is Britain's favourite domestic energy supplier. As well as providing gas and electricity, it also installs and maintains central heating and gas appliances in millions of homes throughout the country. British Gas is very proud to be the principal partner of British Swimming and home countries: The ASA, Scottish Swimming and Swim Wales. British Gas is supporting the team's quest for medals on the world and Olympic stage - and giving as many people as possible the opportunity to learn to swim and use swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle. British Gas wants to ensure local pools remain at the heart of our communities. By using its expertise, it can help them reduce costs by being more energy efficient and safeguard the facilities for this and future generations. For more information visit www.britishgas.co.uk/swimming

About Kellogg’s
The Kellogg Company was founded in 1906 and today produces 40 different cereals including popular brands such as Special K, Cornflakes and Coco Pops, and 56 different snacks including brands such as Nutri-Grain and Special K snacks. Kellogg’s has been a partner of the ASA and British Swimming for 13 years, sponsoring the Kellogg’s ASA Awards and enabling over 50,000 people to take up swimming as part of an active lifestyle.

About Speedo®
The world’s leading swimwear brand, Speedo® is passionate about life in and around the water, creating revolutionary new technologies, designs and innovations. Supporting swimming from grass-roots through to elite level, including the phenomenal Michael Phelps, Speedo® is owned by Speedo Holdings B.V and distributed in over 170 countries around the world; SPEEDO, the ARROW device, FASTSKIN, LZR PULSE, SPEEDO ENDURANCE, FLIPTURNS, FASTSKINFSII, SPEEDO BIOFUSE, SWYM and LZR RACER are registered trademarks of Speedo Holdings B.V. The LZR RACER suit has worldwide design rights and patents pending.

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