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Politicians make pledge as APPG for Swimming is reformed following election

Politicians from across the political divide have reformed the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Swimming following December’s General Election.

The group held its annual general meeting at Parliament and said it was looking forward to the ‘important work’ in the months ahead to ensure more children leave primary school able to swim the statutory 25 metres.

Catherine West, Labour MP for Horsey and Wood Green, and also the Shadow Minister for Sport, chairs the group which also includes Sheryll Murray, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall, Alison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Labour MP for Slough, Jane Hunt,  Conservative MP for Loughborough, Rosie Duffield, the Labour MP for Canterbury, and Stephen Timms, the Labour MP for East Ham.

APPGs are made up of parliamentarians from different parties with a shared interest in a particular subject.

The APPG for Swimming will be focusing on improving school swimming and ensuring there are the swimming facilities we need for the future.

Currently, one in four children leave primary school unable to swim the statutory 25m, despite it being on the national curriculum for more than 25 years.

Ms West said: “I am passionate about ensuring all children are leaving primary school with the skills to be safe in and around the water.

Important work ahead

“Too many are currently being failed and we must change that.

“I am therefore pleased to continue to chair the APPG, which will continue its important work in the months ahead to tackle this issue.”

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson said she was looking forward to working closely with the group.

“We are delighted to have so many MPs who care about swimming and water safety,” she said.

“Our Value of Swimming report showed how vital aquatic activity is in helping to improve both mental and physical health.

“That’s why it is so important every child should be leaving primary school able to swim confidently and competently and be able to perform self-rescue in different water-based situations.

“We look forward to working with all the members of the group to help us achieve our vision of a nation swimming.”

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