"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Why reduced access to swimming is harming children and young people.

Swimming is a novel activity. Not only is it an Olympic sport, but it's also a type of exercise and a life-saving endeavor. How many other physical activities can boast such a claim?

So, it's no surprise that swimming has such appeal within the UK, where there may be a various range of enthusiasts. We have Olympic champions, holding a world record Non-ageing, a brand new wave of cold water divers, competitive swimmers and groups of oldsters and toddlers who love the water. For children, swimming is each a sporting endeavor and a recreational activity often related to hot summer vacations.

It is because of this that recent reports raise alarming concerns in regards to the seriousness of kids's swimming. Last summer, a BBC reports It found that between 2019 and 2022, one in six local authorities within the UK saw at the very least one swimming pool closed on a everlasting or temporary basis. The national governing body for swimming is Swim England. Estimated that just about 1 in 4 children leave primary school unable to swim 25 metres. This number is anticipated to extend to six in 10 by 2025.

Here is the situation. Even more parlous in Wales. Fergus Feeney, chief executive of Swim Wales, recently drew attention to some worrying statistics when he Gave evidence to Sinead.'s Local Government Committee, as a part of its inquiry into the council's leisure services.

Notably, the associated fee of swimming lessons almost doubled from £6.50 before COVID to the present average of £12.50. They also revealed that only 50% of Welsh primary schools participate in swimming tuition programmes. Fanny left the inquiry with one. Regarding the statement:

We're going to have a situation very soon, I dare say, where white middle-class kids will have the ability to swim and the remaining won't have the ability to.

This raises questions on the results of reduced access to swimming for young people. Broadly speaking, if children are unable to swim, life is in danger but in addition physical health, mental health and life skills are affected.


About 20% of the population of England alive in coastal areas. I ScotlandMore than 40% of individuals live near the coast, while inland. Wellsit's greater than 60%.

With the rise in interest in open water swimming in lakes, rivers and oceans, these combined aspects mean that there are safety concerns in regards to the reduction within the number of kids who aren't competent within the water.

Many academic studies have highlighted this. Swimming lessons Provides significant protection against drowning. Although, it could appear intuitive, if the trend towards decreasing access to swimming lessons continues, our waters and the lives of kids abroad are at greater risk.

According to the Office for National Statistics, around 20% of the UK population lives in coastal areas.
Savo Ilic/Shutterstock

It is now known that physical activity has a positive effect. Physical health And can protect against disease and unwell health. Engaging in physical activity at a young age can have a major impact not only on a toddler's physical health, but in addition on their health as they transition into adolescence and young maturity.

A key issue raised by Fanny from Swim Wells was the dearth of access for young people in disadvantaged areas. These individuals are already on one. High risk of obesity. Therefore, removing access to swimming lessons not only takes away a recreational activity but in addition a protective factor against early obesity.

Swimming can also be a low-impact activity that puts minimal stress on joints and muscles, making it a perfect type of exercise for kids who could also be injured or have limited mobility. At the identical time, it's also a complete body workout that engages all major muscle groups and encourages the event of basic movement skills.

Mental health

In addition to the undeniable effects on physical health, swimming has positive effects on mental health and general health. Swimming is shown. Improve depression symptoms, Reduce anxietyand stop mental illness.

Michael Phelps, Arguably the best swimmer of all time, has spoken intimately about how swimming enabled him to manage along with his ADHD.

A smiling man with a gold medallion around his neck holds his right hand over his heart.
American swimmer Michael Phelps won 23 Olympic gold medals during his profession.
Salty Scene/Shutterstock

However, mental health is greater than the absence of poor mental health. Swimming will help with retention. self confidence and increased confidence. It also facilitates the development of a growth mindset.which is the idea that you may develop your skills through labor.

Parent and child lessons even have the flexibility to swim from a really young age. Effects on cognitive and motor development in children.

Engaging in competitive swimming provides youth with transferable skills around discipline, time management, social interaction, teamwork and decision-making. And whether for recreational or competitive purposes, swimming has the potential to be a lifelong activity, providing us with a few of the constructing blocks we want to keep up a joyful and healthy lifestyle.

UK swimming's governing bodies have now united under a campaign, which goals to “Save our ponds.“In fact, swimming ought to be considered essential to the health of the nation for years to come back, and due to this fact must be protected.