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Popular swimming breakfast club being expanded to more schools

A swimming lesson breakfast club created as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy project has proved to be so popular it is being expanded.

The Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Club has seen more than 20 youngsters from two West Midlands schools benefit from expert swimming tuition and enjoy a nutritious breakfast at Birmingham’s Erdington Leisure Centre before heading to the classroom.

Initially, only 16 places were available for youngsters from Abbey Catholic Primary School and Osborne Primary School – but it quickly became over-subscribed.

Now the scheme is being rolled out at a further three pools in 2023 with an additional six schools taking part.

It is funded by Sport England, through the Inspire 2022 project delivered by Swim England. The scheme aims to provide innovative and accessible opportunities to help people from all kinds of backgrounds take part in sport and activity.

Alongside Street Games and the Birmingham Community Leisure Trust (BCLT), the Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Club sessions will now aim to help up to 72 pupils at schools with low key stage two attainment rates for swimming how to be safe and secure in and around water.

Beth Barratt, Swim England project lead for Inspire 2022, said: “The Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Club sessions have proved to be a huge success.

“It’s great to see so many youngsters learning to enjoy the many physical and mental health benefits being active in the water can bring.

“Pool time is one of the biggest challenges facing school swimming and we’re really grateful to BCLT for being creative with its pool time to allow for new ideas, such as this swimming breakfast club, to take shape.

“Combining swimming and breakfast into a free offer for school children shows how we can collaboratively come together, in partnership with Street Games as well, to deliver added value to those children who need it most.”

Important life skill

From January, the scheme will be available for children in receipt of free school meals at Ladywood, Northfield and Stechford Leisure Centres – as well as Erdington.

Jack Pyatt, partnership manager for BCLT said: “It’s been great to see the success of Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Club at Erdington Leisure Centre.

“I would like express our thanks to Swim England and Street Games for their continued funding of the scheme and their commitment to support us as we expand to four centres offering this mix of activity and nutrition.”

Claire Wheeler, from StreetGames, added: “We are delighted to be able to support the Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Club in Birmingham. 

“This scheme is our response to the growing problem of the food insecurity, social isolation and physical inactivity.  

“The Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Club not only tackles all those things, it’s supporting children to learn to swim – an important life skill that has become a particular challenge because of the pandemic. 

“It also reassures families that their child’s exercise is done for the day and they have had a nutritious meal before the school day has even started.”

“We’re excited about conversations that are looking at delivering the Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Clubs at three new venues in Birmingham in the New Year. 

“We would love to see this programme in more swimming pools across the country.”

To visit the booking page for these breakfast clubs, please click here.