THE NEXT generation of swimmers are being supported by a COVID-19 safe programme at the University of Warwick’s Sports and Wellness Hub.
‘Learn to Swim’ currently aids the development of more than 400 budding swimmers with over 100 classes being hosted per week.
Although scepticism about the safety of returning to the pool is understandable given the current climate, measures have been taken to prioritise the safety of children first and foremost, with instructors given training to adapt to the new method of delivering sessions.
In addition, parents are still able to watch their children from the viewing gallery despite reduced seating.
With the number of people in the pool and changing facilities restricted to ensure social distancing, the programme has already enjoyed success with three youngsters going on to join City of Coventry Swimming Club after successful trials.
The programme is viewed as a pathway to joining CoCSC, where the next generation of talents can receive the best support and level of competition in the local area.
Alexandra Castree, nine, achieved her level six and seven whilst taking part in the programme, realising the potential that she was not able to reach with another swim school.
Castree’s mother, Victoria, said: “We wanted our children to learn to swim because it’s an important life skill and once Alexandra got the hang of it she loved it.
“She had been with a school before but needed a larger pool to build her stamina and they had that at Warwick.
“The link with the swim club is great too. Alexandra passed the 10 week trial session and is in the club now. We’re very proud of her.”
Amelia Gane, also nine, progressed through three stages of learning at the Hub, with her mother Samantha left delighted by her improvement.
““Amelia could swim independently but needed to refine her strokes and joining the programme helped with that,” said her mum Samantha.
“She’s found something she is good at now and enjoys it. Covid has halted her swimming a bit but she can’t wait to get back into the pool and push on again.”
Eight-year-old Sasha Gandhi, meanwhile, joined the programme last year, and now turns out for City of Coventry Swimming Club.
“Sasha has been with the Coventry club for a while now, but it was the enthusiastic coaches at Warwick Sport which helped her to develop,” said her mother, Kate.
“She enjoys her time in the pool, whether lessons or playing, and is now swimming three times a week as a part of the club set-up.”
To find out more about joining the Learn to Swim programme, or to enquire about joining, head to: www.warwick.ac.uk/learntoswim