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Olympians Davies and Parry ‘Make a Splash’ at mobile pool

3 July 2013

Yesterday Olympians Sharron Davies and Steve Parry helped youngsters to ‘Make a Splash’ at a mobile pool in Surrey Quays, London.

To book swimming lessons at the Make a Splash pool at Decathlon Surrey Quays, visit the Total Swimming website here .Local children are being given the unique opportunity to learn to swim as part of the ‘Make a Splash’ programme, which for the past three years has taken mobile swimming pools to communities across the capital.

Olympic medallists Sharron Davies and Steve Parry dropped in to check out the latest pool based at Decathlon Surrey Quays store in Southwark on 2nd July.

The pool, which has been delivered in partnership with Decathlon and Speedo, will remain at the venue for 12 weeks, with school swimming lessons during term time and swimming lessons at just £2 per session on weekday evenings. On Saturdays and Sundays fun activities are available for free to Decathlon card holders.

During the summer holidays, weeklong crash courses of swimming lessons will also be available.

Over 19,000 young people have been taught to swim as part of the ‘Make a Splash’ initiative, which has been to 19 venues across London and is set to visit a further seven during its next phase. The programme aims to teach 1,000 children to swim during its time in the London Borough of Southwark.

Figures released last month by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) revealed that 59% of seven to 11 year olds in London are unable to swim 25m unaided, with 45% of children not having access to any type of swimming lesson.

The ‘Make a Splash’ campaign is set to continue for at least the next two years and communities across the capital can step forward and bid for the pool to come to their area as part of the next round of the programme.

The initiative, run by Total Swimming in conjunction with the ASA, forms a key part of the Mayor of London’s £40m Sports Legacy Fund. The fund was set up to help encourage more people into sport after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme is also sponsored by Thames Water, who provide water for all of the pools.

The Make a Splash campaign has seen kids of all ages taking the plunge and trying a sport that offers one of the best forms of exercise known to man.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The Make a Splash campaign has seen kids of all ages taking the plunge and trying a sport that offers one of the best forms of exercise known to man. We know that young people in particular often don’t get the chance to learn how to swim and so it’s really encouraging to know that thousands of kids from all over London have taken part in this fantastic programme.

"As we continue to build on the momentum of last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, I’m delighted to confirm that the mobile pools will be making yet another tour of duty across the capital so that more people can get the opportunity to take a dip. If you think this scheme could make a difference to your school or local area, then get online and tell us where the pool’s next stop should be.”

59% of children in London aged 7-11 years cannot swim 25 metres, so the Make a Splash project is invaluable in helping to target this group

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the Amateur Swimming Association said, “Swimming is one of the easiest, safest forms of exercise for children of all abilities, and school swimming is the single most effective way of teaching children how to be safe in and around water. 59% of children in London aged 7-11 years cannot swim 25 metres, so the Make a Splash project is invaluable in helping to target this group as well as those who sadly reach both secondary school and adulthood without this life saving skill”.

Steve Dykes, Managing Director, Decathlon UK, said: ‘Decathlon is passionate about promoting sports that the whole family can enjoy together. Once parents and kids can all swim, it opens up the chance to take part in other pool games including water polo and volley ball. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Speedo, to offer the local community a fantastic summer-long programme of swimming lessons and free family fun weekends.’

To book swimming lessons at the Make a Splash pool at Decathlon Surrey Quays, visit www.totalswimming.co.uk/make-a-splash

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