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Olympians help young swimmers to ‘Get Safe’ in Daventry

14 August 2013

Young swimmers in Daventry were given the unique opportunity to meet and swim with three London 2012 Olympians on Sunday 11th August at Daventry Leisure Centre as part of the Amateur Swimming Association’s (ASA) ‘Get Safe’ campaign.

Commonwealth gold medallist and Olympic swimmer Robbie Renwick was joined by fellow Olympians Nick-Robinson Baker (diving) and Jake Vincent (Water Polo) to kick off the event and also launch the sites brand new £300,000 changing village.

The Get Safe campaign, led by the ASA is aimed at children and parents to ensure they are fully aware of the dangers posed by water and how to react safely in an emergency.

The visit comes following the largest ever ‘learn to swim’ survey released by the ASA earlier this year Learning the Lesson : The Future of School Swimming, revealing that 1 in 3 children aged 7-11 in Northamptonshire cannot swim 25 metres unaided.  A result that shocked safety experts with drowning one of the leading causes of accidental death in children. To help tackle these statistics, the ASA’s Get Safe campaign gives children the knowledge and skills to keep them out of danger near water whilst still being able to enjoy themselves in water.

As part of the Get Safe campaign athletes and children took part in a fun-filled aquatic morning, trying out different pool activities such as Mini-Polo, Flip ‘n’ Fun and swimming skills. The children were also provided with expert tuition on how to stay safe in and around water including interactive demonstrations on what methods can be used to rescue a casualty in the water, the efficient equipment to do so and also how to swim against a strong current. The children also were also advised how to act during Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the skills needed to complete the procedure on a casualty.

The campaign was also supported on the day by the ASA’s fun-loving mascot Trunx who tours the country celebrating the aquatics achievements of kids across the UK.

Robbie Renwick, who competed at the recent World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona 2013, stressed the importance of staying safe in the water.

"It’s fantastic to be a part of a campaign like this because fundamentally learning to swim is about being safe in the water and having the knowledge to react calmly and confidently in a situation of potential danger.

“The kids here today have been able to experience and learn a variety of skills which may just save their lives in the future; whilst having fun at the same time. And who knows, we may also have inspired a future generation of potential Olympians or Paralympians in the process.”

Luke Parratt, Contract manager at Daventry Leisure Centre was thrilled to see the campaign arrive at the Everyone Active centre.

“By showing our commitment to the ASA Learn to Swim Pathway, Everyone Active was provided with this exciting opportunity for children to meet Olympic athletes. With the £300,000 changing village refurbishment also being unveiled today, these are exciting times for the community of Daventry.

“The Get Safe Campaign is a great way of addressing the worrying statistic that only 1 in 3 children in Northamptonshire can swim 25m unaided when they leave primary school and has provided them with the opportunity to access all activity for free at the centre including bouncy castles, face painting and lots more.”

David Sparkes, CEO of the Amateur Swimming Association, said: 

This initiative is about raising the awareness of the importance of children learning to swim and encouraging their efforts as they try and achieve the required level of competence and confidence in the water.

“The recent drowning statistics demonstrate how important it is for children to learn crucial life saving skills and develop the knowledge to be safe in the water.”

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