Swim England

A nation swimming

Why our England Swims campaign is ‘the start of something really big’

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson shares her thoughts on new ‘important and innovative insight’ which can help shape the future of the sector.

The joint founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, once said: “I think this is the start of something really big.

“Sometimes that first step is the hardest one – and we’ve just taken it.”

It’s a quote which certainly resonates with me as I reflect on the findings of our England Swims campaign.

Back in May, we set out to tackle the inequalities – which we knew existed – that prevent ethnically diverse communities from taking part in water-based activity.

The response to the survey was so much better than we had anticipated as we received more than double our initial target.

Now, the findings are helping to shape our new soon to-be-published 10-year strategy, which will have the goal of increasing the diversity of those who can swim at the very heart of it.

England Swims was the ‘first step’ of our journey to determine the actions and interventions required to improve the situation – in partnership with others – so that aquatics can truly be for everyone.

We have always had the vision of a nation swimming – but for some communities, there have been hurdles which prevent participation.

Thanks for your invaluable input

We can now identify target audiences thanks to the collection of statistical insights which are helping us to understand how to encourage these communities into the water.

England Swims has helped us to create new partnerships – and strengthen existing ones – with organisations who share our ambition.

Their backing has been vitally important in helping us to conduct this study and we look forward to working closely with them in the future on more specific research and initiatives to create practicable solutions.

Today, we have shared the results of the campaign with operators and other partners so it can support their work and be applied to their projects.

Finally, a huge thanks to everyone who took their time to complete the England Swims survey.

Your invaluable input has focused our goals and will help to shape the future of the sector.

We are aware, though, that actions speak louder than words.

However, we believe our new strategy can break down the barriers which have existed for so long and help so many more develop a lifelong love of the water.

As Mr Jobs said, I think this is the start of something really big…