Swim England

A nation swimming

Number of adults swimming at least twice a month shows signs of recovery

The number of adults swimming has shown signs of recovery following pool closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to new figures.

Sport England’s latest Active Lives data reveals 2,001,600 adults went swimming at least twice in 28 days between November 2020 and November 2021.

That is a 73 per cent increase on the 1,159,000 adults who swam twice a month from the May 2020 to May 2021 figures.

Pools were shut for extensive periods during both time frames and the latest numbers are still down on pre-pandemic levels.

However, Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson said it was pleasing to see a significant rise in the numbers of people returning to the water.

“These figures show just how much people missed their swimming pools,” said Jane. “When they were given the opportunity to get back into the water, they certainly did.

“We were so pleased that our members were able to enjoy all our aquatic sports they love so much after being shut out of them for so long.

Activity for everyone

“Pools have never been more important, especially since the pandemic.

“They are a lifeline to so many who can’t exercise fully on dry land due to a range of conditions and they play a crucial role in keeping the nation fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, saving the NHS and social care system hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

“Swimming is truly an activity for everyone and it’s very reassuring to see the numbers starting to recover quite significantly since last May.

“We’re not back at pre-pandemic levels just yet but it’s an encouraging sign, especially when the sector is still facing significant challenges following the pandemic.

“The rise in energy prices poses a real threat to the future of some facilities and it’s vital they receive more support.

“People want to go swimming and we’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure there is enough water space for everyone, now and in the future.”