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HRH The Duke of Cambridge records video message on importance of teaching children to swim

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge and patron of the English Schools Swimming Association, has recorded a short video calling for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools.

3 June 2013

The video has been released following the largest ever investigation into school swimming by the ASA that revealed more than half of children aged 7-11 years cannot swim 25 metres unaided. This equates to 1.1 million children that are unable to be safe in and around water

“The ASA has a belief – a vision, which I share – that every child has the right to learn to swim - His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge.

In the video he says: “Swimming is unique – it is the only sport that can save lives – which is why I’m so keen for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools.

“The ASA has a belief – a vision, which I share – that every child has the right to learn to swim.

“The ability to swim changes lives – it brings huge joy and it can keep us fit and healthy.  But above all, it can keep us safe, which is why I’m pleased to lend my support to this campaign.”

The ASA, for their report entitled “Learning the Lesson - the future of school swimming”, surveyed 3,501 schools on how many of their children have attained Key Stage 2 swimming requirements. It found that half of children aged seven to eleven cannot swim the length of a typical swimming pool (25 metres) unaided, despite swimming being a compulsory element of the national curriculum.

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the ASA said “The ASA’s vision is that that every child should have the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people.  I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge supports this vision and has provided support to our campaign.

“I am in no doubt that this support will help drive awareness around the importance of swimming, a life saving skill, being accessible to every child in primary school.”

John Stiven, Honorary General Secretary of the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) said, "We are very honoured that our Patron His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge is supporting this campaign. The ESSA will work with the ASA to encourage the advancement of the teaching of swimming in schools for a healthier and safer life."

  • Click here to download a copy of the ASA 2013 Census.
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