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Swim England agrees five-year partnership with Sandwell Leisure Trust

Swim England has agreed a five-year partnership to provide it’s world-renowned Learn to Swim programme at the iconic Sandwell Aquatics Centre. 

The agreement will see Sandwell Leisure Trust deliver Swim England’s four specialised learn to swim frameworks at the £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre and its six other pools.

The new state-of-the-art facility includes a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool as well as a 25m diving pool, community swimming pool along with 1,000 spectator seats.

Learners progressing through each stage will receive a Swim England award, while young swimmers can unlock their favourite Learn to Swim characters on the Learn to Swim App.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said: “We’re confident that the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre will inspire so many people to take up swimming in the area.

“We’re thrilled that they will learn to swim using our industry-leading programme. It provides opportunities for both young and old alike, as well as supporting their confidence, enjoyment and safety in the water.

“This agreement is the culmination of a lot of hard work and we’re looking forward to working closely with the Sandwell Leisure Trust and developing this partnership over the next five years.”

Swim England has also been providing training guidance to Sandwell Leisure Trust staff and swimming teachers on the new programme as well as marketing support.

Ash Rai, Sandwell Leisure Trust chief executive, said: “We are pleased to have agreed this partnership with Swim England and look forward to working together over the next five years. 

Great opportunities

“This partnership will enhance our already successful and extremely popular swimming lesson programme available at all our swimming pools that has and continues to help thousands of children and adults learn to swim each year.”

Langley Swimming Centre in Oldbury is the first Sandwell Leisure Trust facility to take up a new training tool as part of the five-year partnership with Swim England.

Forty Level 2 swim teachers from across the Trust attended the Aquatic Skills Framework Stages 8-10 Diving CPD seminar, which is part of the Swim England extended education programme and provides the technical knowledge to deliver fundamental diving skills from the poolside and in a fun and safe environment. 

It covers basic diving positions, dry land practices and key teaching points, plus can be taught as a contrasting activity in a swimming lesson, during a block of diving lessons in term, or at out of term holiday camps.

Sarah Barrow, West Midlands Diving Development Officer for Swim England, adds: “This is just the start of many Swim England initiatives that will further enhance the many aquatic activities across the Sandwell borough. 

“Diving can sometimes be seen as intimidating at first, but it’s delivered in an engaging way and gives young swimmers a different set of skills and potential taste of being out of their comfort zone.

“This first stage of training also brings excitement of a new sport coming to the Trust and in preparation for a much wider programme eventually being delivered out of the SLT managed £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick, which will be officially open for use by the public in summer 2023.”

Helen Done, Assistant Leisure Manager at Langley Swimming Centre, says: “SLT is extremely passionate about delivering a high-quality swimming lesson programme for our community and the new partnership with Swim England has brought us great opportunities to develop our offering even further.  

“We’re thrilled to be adding diving and artistic swimming to our programme to give our swimmers opportunities to try new skills as well as potentially start their journey to become elite athletes.”