Swimming a valuable tool to Elevate health and wellbeing9 May 2019 Swim England News
Swim England has revealed how it is working closely with aquatics operators to help people struggling with health conditions get active.
During a seminar on the second day of the major sports exhibition Elevate, at London’s ExCeL, Elaine McNish, Swim England Head of Health and Wellbeing, highlighted the potential for swimming pools to support people to be healthier and manage long-term conditions.
Supported by Dr Fiona Moffatt from the University of Nottingham, Ms McNish shared insight into the benefits of swimming, highlighting the early success of the Good Boost programme, which is being introduced to centres across the country.
Ms McNish said: “We’re working with operators to effectively support them to get people with health conditions into the pool, because we know that these people are more likely to be less active.
“We also know that, for some of them, it’s quite a confidence issue trying to get into the swimming pool.
“It’s not something they necessarily have done for a long time. We recognise, from the evidence, the massive benefits of getting these people active, particularly in the water, because the water produces all kinds of benefits.
“You do have to get out there and spread the word, because the confidence of these individuals is very low. It’s about trying to convince them and show them there are benefits to being in the water.”
Elevate coincided with the release of Swim England’s fact sheets on swimming with particular health conditions, which seek to quash the stigmas associated with exercising in the water.
A motivated workforce
Rebecca Cox, Managing Director for Institute of Swimming, delivered a seminar on the importance of recruiting, retaining and motivating workers in the aquatics industry.
IOS, the largest aquatic training provider in the country, has placed particular emphasis on improving the diversity of swimming teachers, with 68% of swimming teachers in England under the age of 25.
The Swimming Teacher Recruitment Academy, which the Institute of Swimming launched this week after a successful pilot, aims to attract a diverse range of instructors at limited risk for operators.
“Every organisation we’ve worked with that has come to us saying they need swimming teachers, we’ve found them for them,” Mrs Cox said.
“More importantly, we’ve found people over the age of 25, who reflect the face of the community that the centres sit in, because we’ve targeted the recruitment on their behalf.”