Swim England

A nation swimming

Thousands of parents keen to send children back to swimming lessons

Thousands of parents have said they would be willing to take their children back to swimming lessons as soon as pools reopen, according to a new survey.

More than 47,000 people whose children attended swimming lessons before the coronavirus lockdown responded to Leisure-net Solutions’ Returning to Swimming Lesson questionnaire.

Half (50.5 per cent) said they would return immediately, with another 45 per cent saying they would come back in September.

The findings have been welcomed by recognised national governing body Swim England, which issued its Returning to the Pool guidance on Monday 15 June ahead of the Government giving the green light for facilities to reopen.

Katie Towner, Swim England Head of Learn to Swim, said: “We’re delighted that parents are keen to see their children get back to learning a vital life skill when the opportunity arises.

“Our Returning to the Pool guidance has been created to ensure that is done as safely as possible.

“We had lengthy consultations with a number of our swim schools, industry partners and educator workforce as we put together these robust recommendations and it’s pleasing to see the majority of parents are confident of the measures that we’ve put in place.”

Leisure-net Solutions’ Return to Swimming Lesson survey also revealed that:

  • 96 per cent agree that social distancing should be enforced in spectator areas
  • 90 per cent agree with cleaning changing rooms before/after every use
  • 82 per cent agree that children should dry off and change quickly, and shower at home following their lesson
  • 78 per cent agree that pupils should arrive with their swimwear under their clothes
  • 57 per cent stated that they would continue if there was a small increase in prices (up to 10 per cent), with 33 per cent saying they could not afford any increase.

Indication on how customers will react

The survey also showed that 55 per cent of parents said they would consider a course of intensive swimming classes during the summer holidays to boost swimming ability.

However, almost a third of parents (32 per cent) say they would not let their child return to swimming lessons until they could watch the session.

Geoff Wade, Active Communities Officer (Aquatics) at GO Gateshead Sports and Leisure, who helped design the survey as well as participated in it, said: “It’s one thing creating and implementing guidance to manage the COVID-19 situation when we reopen pools, but as can be seen from the number of pupils returning to schools, each family will make their own risk assessment on what they are prepared to do.

“This survey will give some indication on how customers will react to the changes to swimming lessons, as well as how many will return and when.”

Dave Monkhouse, Director of Leisure-net Solutions, says: “We wanted to find out how parents felt about children returning to swimming lessons.

“This will help operators to make the right decisions to meet the needs of parents while alleviating their concerns.”

A free summary of the results will be available by 23 June and people can register their interest to receive them by clicking here.