Affordable pool time makes swimming a big hit with Sussex mum

Hove mum Edna Laleye is so convinced about the power of the pool for her two children that she is planning on bringing along the rest of her family to join in the fun.

Edna admits she ‘didn’t want to be worrying’ about her children’s safety when she signed them up for swimming lessons.

But she now sees the activity as not only an important life skill but also an invaluable leisure activity which keeps her youngsters engaged and happy.

Thanks to low cost and an extensive variety of activities available, she can now bring both of her children to her local pool to make friends and express themselves in the water – without worrying about the impact on her finances.

With the cost-of-living crisis putting families at increasing risk of sacrificing valuable leisure time, new cost comparison research has found that a visit to a local swimming is one of the most affordable activities for families and children.

The insight from Swim England shows that casual swimming at a local pool is much more affordable than other family activities, in addition to the extensive benefits of being active.

Lot of laughter

In the latest cost comparisons, swimming as a family has been found to be on average 28% cheaper than bowling, 35% cheaper than cinema tickets and 35% cheaper than crazy golf amongst other comparisons.

Furthermore, the comparisons do not include any additional costs of food or drink associated with many of the activities that further inflate prices for families.

Edna, who has made the most of summer holiday time to get her children to the pool as often as possible, thinks other families should consider the activity for all its benefits, especially in comparison to spiralling prices for other family fun activities.

She said: “Swimming gives you more freedom of expression. 

“You hear a lot of laughter when the children are in the pool, there’s so much they can do, like playing with different toys or splashing around.

“I think I want them to always feel safe in water, and just enjoy themselves. I love watching them when they are swimming, they’re always happy!

“And for us now, it’s really affordable so there’s no hesitation. We can get the two children into the pool thanks to the cost, and now I want to get involved and come and swim.

“My husband wants to learn and improve so we can always swim as a family – that’s our motivation for coming to the pool.

“One cinema visit, or one bowling session, is much more costly. The cost of that would probably cover my daughter’s swimming for a whole month.

“When we go on holidays, we like to go to the pool and swim together so we want to do that together all the time now!”

Clarissa, Edna’s daughter, has been smiling through every lesson over the summer holidays.

Favourite time

She added: “I get to do lots of things – playing, handstands and front-flips!

“I love being in the water with my friends because I get to play, I get to swim and it’s always my favourite time.”

As part of the latest wave of the #LoveSwimming campaign, more families are being urged to swim casually more often – whether they are a complete beginner or rediscovering their love for the water

With research indicating that the activity is where families have the most fun together, as part of holiday programmes, many local leisure centres are offering activities like inflatables, family fun swims and inclusive swimming lessons – providing more choice for all regardless of age or ability.

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