Community Leisure UK ezine
October 2021
HLH supports swimming as a ‘life skill’

03 Sep 2021

Swimming lessons have resumed at High Life Highland leisure centres after they were halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The ‘Learn to Swim’ programme is HLH’s biggest after school activity and pre-Covid, Inverness Leisure saw over 2,000 children learning to swim each week.

HLH Director of Sport and Leisure Douglas Wilby said: “Learning to swim is a life skill and we have dedicated swimming instructors to deliver this massive programme to ensure everyone is confident in the water.

“Scotland boasts over 11,000 miles of coastline and more than 25,000 freshwater lochs which we know are a huge draw for families in the summer - that’s why we believe learning to swim is so important and why we were keen to get our programme restarted as soon as possible.

“It was for this very reason that we more than doubled our intensive swimming lesson blocks during our summer ‘School’s Out’ programme.

“The added advantage to this, is that we have been able to ‘fast-track’ some of the children on the waiting list directly into the swimming programme.

“As of Monday, and following the Scottish Government’s easing of national restrictions, we’ve been delighted to be welcoming children back to our Highland-wide learn to swim programme.”

Across the Highlands, HLH is delivering 715 lessons a week with 5,144 children taking part each week.

Mr Wilby continued: “During the last few days, members of our swim team have been in touch with over 150 people on the waiting list offering them the choice of slots for the next sessions.

“Demand is very high, and we are doing all that we can to accommodate as many as possible, we have already added 88 additional spaces to our programme and we are working to add more over the forthcoming weeks - our aim is to try to make sure that no-one is disappointed.

“With our programme, learners are taught various strokes, techniques and swim-skills as our team support them from beginner, right through to club entry standard.”

Mr Wilby outlined that High Life Highland appears to be the only leisure provider in the country to offer access to swimming lessons as part of its highlife membership scheme.

He explained: “For many families across the country, swimming lessons are effectively an add-on to a leisure membership. You may even class it as a luxury.

“High Life Highland sees the learn to swim programme as a vital part of our subscription for individuals and families. Being able to get quality lessons, at no additional charge, is definitely a major draw for many of highlife members.

“High Life Highland also runs our ‘Love to Swim’ programme, a service which offers swimming lessons either on a one-to-one basis, or a one-to-two basis. Your individualised lessons can either be for you or your child and whether new to swimming or just needing to brush up on your technique, the swim team at our locations across the Highlands are here to help.

“Our Instructors are all nationally qualified, as well as bringing a wealth of aquatics experience, to ensure the highest standard of advice and instruction.”
Mr Wilby concluded: “We are extremely proud of the number of individuals we put through our learn to swim programme and appreciate the positive comments we receive from the parents and carers of participating children. We will remain focused on maximising the number of participants in our swimming lesson programme.”


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