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04-31 NEWS:SPN Master pages 15/1/09 14:59 Page 15
Festive dip with Zoggs
Zoggs, the Australian swimwear
brand celebrated its new
partnership with the Outdoor
Swimming Society by getting
involved with the ‘Festive Dip’
last month at the Gospel Oak
Lido, London. They provided
special Christmas Pudding caps
at the event.
The Outdoor Swimming Society
is a passionate volunteer-run group
who roam the country putting on
events for like minded water
lovers. Whether diving into lakes,
lochs, lidos, rivers or seas; the OSS
strongly believes that outdoor
swimming is an exciting and
Few new swimmers created from free swimming Government initiative – seminar hears
different way to get fit and healthy.
For more information visit
One of Hertfordshire’s busiest
swimming pools was closed last The Government’s Free Swimming campaign is unlikely to deliver many ‘new’ swimmers – that’s the view
month for essential maintenance which came out of a public sector seminar aimed at an improvement agenda for leisure services.
works to be carried out. The event, the first of its kind, attracted representatives from local authorities, trusts and management
Harpenden swimming pool’s spa contractors united to exchange views on the advantages of the different methods of leisure services delivery.
and sauna areas needed The day-long event, for representatives from the East of England, was organised by Leisure-net Solutions
refurbishing. The changing village, and supported by CLOA, ISRM, ISPAL and SPORTA.
poolside and shower area were The seminar also included a number of expert speakers, as well as workshops on 2012 in the Eastern Region
deep cleaned and re-grouted and and the implications of the Government’s Free Swimming initiative, which threw up a number of reservations.
improvements made to the air The workshop highlighted that some councils had responded positively to the initiative due to the offer
conditioning, the heating system of much needed capital funding, despite the fact it would be very low. All delegates reported significant
and pool hall lighting. shortfalls in the funding available and the estimated costs – none could envisage free swimming continuing
after Government funding ceases.
Many of the group believed there would be few ‘new’ swimmers and that the result would be existing swimmers
Somerset lacks attending more often and for free of charge. Shortfalls highlighted in the initiative included learning to swim and
facilities claim that under 8s must be accompanied by an adult, who would not necessarily be covered for free swimming.
Areas of Somerset are in dire The group said there must be clarity for leisure pools and also a decision on whether sessions can be
need of a 25m pool so that limited, e.g. 45 minutes only and/or a limited number of free sessions per day/week.
children can learn how to swim. CLOA’s Policy Officer, David Albutt, who chaired the Free Swimming workshop said: “Most delegates
Liz Stewart said the area urgently expressed concern about the initiative, not least that it had been announced in the national media a full
needed a 25m pool with the month before local government had been consulted. In Wales both CLOA and local government had been
required depth so youngsters involved from the start, which allowed many issues to be successfully managed. The lack of time to respond
could learn how to swim safely. and the timing of the announcement in terms of the councils’ budget cycles were key concerns.”
Provision for young swimmers has The day was chaired by John Fuller, 2012 Olympics Manager for Hertfordshire County Council, who
worsened following the introduced the expert speakers, including consultant Brian King, who shed light on the latest twists and turns
announcement that Quantock of the Comprehensive Area Assessment agenda.
Lodge swimming pool at Over
Stowey was also set to close. Mrs
Stewart said she already had
nearly 250 children in her ‘learn
to swim’ programme but the Private schools ‘keep pools quiet’
latest casualty meant the number
of children on her books looked Private schools are hiding the Independent Schools Project. public but not advertised.
set to rise further. She added: “In fact that many of their top- Private schools cannot be Hutchesons’ Grammar,
West Somerset we are class facilities are open to the compelled to open their Glasgow; Merchiston Castle,
surrounded by water with public, government-funded facilities to the public but doing Edinburgh; Lomond School,
numerous children and adults researchers have claimed. so, even for a fee, counts Helensburgh and St Leonard’s
who don’t know how to swim State-of-the-art swimming towards their charitable status. School, St Andrews; have
safely. Knights Templar’s pool is pools are among the assets The report looked in detail at already been warned by the
fabulous but it needs a lot of being kept off-limits because three unidentified Scottish Office of the Scottish Charity
work and funding, and then schools are frightened of private schools and found Regulator to improve their
there’s St Audries pool which is putting off fee-paying parents, evidence that some facilities public access or lose their
only 12½m x 7m. according to the Scottish were, in theory, open to the charitable status.
Visit our website at FEBRUARY 09 swimming pool news 15
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