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A nation swimming

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Swim England chief executive's plea to 'invest in facilities and school swimming'

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson has called on the Government to ‘invest in facilities and school swimming’ at the official launch of the Value of Swimming report.

In a speech to guests and MPs at Parliament, Jane urged the Government, health professionals and the wider swimming sectors to work more closely to ensure ‘we can get a nation swimming’.

The Value of Swimming report shows the vital role swimming plays in preventing, and treating, physical and mental health conditions.

It also highlighted how swimming and other water-based activity is helping to save the NHS and social care system £357 million a year.

Jane said: “Swim England are incredibly proud of this research which helps us confirm what those of us who work in swimming already know to be true – that swimming is incredibly valuable.

“Valuable both to the individuals who we know are healthier and happier because of swimming and also valuable to society – helping to ease the pressures on our precious NHS and build more connected communities.

Important recommendations

“The report makes a number of important recommendations and I’ll be banging the drum for swimming to ensure we can get a nation swimming and maximise the number of people enjoying all the benefits, and the fun, that being active in the pool provides.

“The Government must invest in the next generation of facilities to ensure we have the right water space, in the right places, to anable swimming to take place.

“We need to scale up proven health-based interventions like our Water Wellbeing programme and signpost more people to aquatic activities – both via GP referrals and through social prescribing.

“Finally, we must stop failing our children and start taking school swimming seriously as it’s unacceptable that one in four children leave primary school unable to swim, despite it being part of the national curriculum for 25 years now.

“We at Swim England will continue to pay our part but it is only with concerted action in partnership with government, health professionals and the wider swimming sector that we can get a nation swimming and ensure that everyone enjoys the resulting benefits.”

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