BME Swim Sessions with Newham Young Britons A.S.C

11 Jun 2012

Based in one of the most deprived boroughs in London, Newham Young Britons A.S.C. works hard to enable young children from black and ethnic communities to learn to swim.  The club was established over 60 years ago and Maureen Monk, co-coordinator of the BME group swim sessions, has been involved since her children attended the club when they were younger.  And now her daughter actually teaches at the club.

They run a unique men-only class, which currently comprises of entirely Asian men and also a session for children aged 5-16 to learn to swim.  Most new members come from recommendations and word of mouth but recently the club has had to move sites across the borough to a different pool (Newham) and numbers have dipped. 

Fees are kept as low as possible in order for families with several children to be able to afford to bring them all.  This means that the club has to rely heavily on funding, which is becoming increasingly difficult with rising costs and funders preferring to invest in new projects.

The club considers there are three main reasons that learning to swim is important.  These are:

  • Exercise - especially for those children who spend a lot of their free time on the computer etc.
  • Life Skills - water safety skills which could help to save yours or other’s lives
  • Job Opportunities - opens up possibilities later in life such as lifeguard or swimming  instructor

Maureen said “We like to feel that we have a friendly club where everyone is welcome whatever their nationality, culture, race or religion and believe we have achieved this.  We are now actively recruiting new members to build the club back up to strength.”

If you would like to find out more please contact Maureen Monk at

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