Broadcaster Naga Munchetty takes up adult swimming lessons

Broadcaster and journalist Naga Munchetty is helping to quash stereotypes by taking part in adult swimming lessons.

The 44-year-old admits that ‘bad memories’ led her to avoid swimming pools since she was a child, but she has now taken the decision to learn a vital life skill.

According to research carried out by Swim England, one in five adults in Britain are unable to swim.

Munchetty has sought to buck that trend by beginning lessons with Everyone Active, starting with a 12-week programme of private lessons with her husband, James, as they look to build their skills and confidence in the water.

It was while on holiday last year that Munchetty realised she needed to prioritise water safety.

“Whenever I go on holiday, I’m never confident in the sea,” she said. “I never go into a pool, because I have bad memories of swimming pools from when I was younger.

“I just want to be confident, competent and be able to have it as one of my leisure options.

“I love to windsurf and water ski, but you have to be a certain way out from the shore to do that.

“The last time I windsurfed, I really struggled to come back to shore, because the tide was so strong.

“Even if I was just a competent swimmer, I’d have been able to do it, but I couldn’t and I never want to be in that situation again.”

Setting an example

Colin Jackson, a two-time World and Commonwealth champion and Olympic silver medallist in the 110m hurdles, has also begun swimming lessons with Everyone Active.

The pair have set themselves a target of participating in a charity swim next year, which will require them to swim at least 400 metres.

Katie Towner, Head of Learn To Swim at Swim England, said: “We’re delighted to see the positive message being shared by Naga and Colin.

“Swimming is an essential life skill and it’s never too late to learn to be safe in and around the water.

“The Learn to Swim programme caters for people of all ages and abilities and we hope the stories of Naga and Colin encourage others to experience the joy of swimming, the variety of opportunities it presents and the wide range of health benefits.”

The Swim England Adult Swimming Framework understands that adults have very different needs to children when learning to swim and focuses on improving confidence, competence and technique, with no age limit.

You can use the Swim England poolfinder to get started on your swimming journey.