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Children are waiting for up to two years for swimming lessons in Scotland.

Lists at many pools are three months to two years. Inverness Leisure shows a wait of 1,040 days, but bosses said this was a “worst case scenario” and the actual wait was shorter. Scottish Swimming has called for every child to be taught to swim before they leave primary school and the body said this could help ease waiting lists. Highland Council is among local authorities which take part in Swimming Scotland’s learn to swim programme, offering free lessons

Children’s classes are offered free through the High Life card subscription scheme, which sees adults paying a monthly fee to use sports centres and swimming pools.

The Scottish Amateur Swimming Association – known as Scottish Swimming – has called for all young children to be entitled to free swimming lessons as they have been in England and Wales since the 1990s. Spokeswoman Kirsten Phillips said swimming was a life skill and the organisation would wish to see all

youngsters able to swim by the time they left primary school.


Two swimming pools at a multi-million-pound leisure centre in Kent have been closed after cracks appeared in the tiles.

Ashford Borough Council said the leisure pool and learner pool at the £17m Stour Centre will remain closed while investigations are carried out. The main swimming pool and other facilities will remain open as normal.

The centre was originally built in 1975 but reopened in 2007 following a £17m refurbishment.

The problem is being

investigated by the council and Ashford Leisure Trust which said the pools will be repaired and reopened as soon as a solution is identified.

IndustryNews APR 2010 SPN



Cherwell District Council has been successfully swimming in the opposite direction of many local authorities by investing £27.5m on improvements at leisure centres and swimming pools across Oxfordshire. Working with the Sports Modernisation Programme, refurbishment programmes have been completed at Kidlington, Bicester and Witney Leisure Centres and the state of the art Spiceball Leisure Centre has been built in Banbury.

Banbury residents are able to take advantage of two swimming pools; one with an adjustable floor for teaching and fitness purposes. Children can enjoy an interactive wet play area complete with fountains and shoots. An impressive health spa, sauna and steam room are part of the complex.

Bicester Leisure Centre has benefitted from new wet side changing room facilities and improvement to air handling equipment, plus a new sauna, steam room and spa suite. The pool area was upgraded with new pipework and filtration, a café with viewing area to the pool plus a brand new fully insulated roof over the swimming pool itself. Woodgreen Lido, Banbury’s outdoor pool, was built in 1939 and fell into disrepair until its eventual closure in 2002. A campaign to reopen the pool led by the “Open Air Pool Support Group” ensued and with investment from Cherwell District Council and an undertaking by Banbury Town Council to assist with running costs, the pool reopened last July. The old lido

THIS: Banbury’s pristine Spiceball Leisure Centre (Photo: Martin Cleveland)

BELOW LEFT: Woodgreen Pool official opening BELOW RIGHT: Banbury Mayor Tina Wren with Cherwell District Council Chairman Diana Edwards

has been fully updated to modern standards and is sized at 50m x 18m with a maximum depth of 1.8m. Fully tiled with a deck level finish it looks fantastic and is a pool of truly Olympic proportions. Diana Edwards, Cherwell’s Chairman presided over each leisure centre’s official opening “Swimming is a fantastic and inexpensive form of entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Cherwell District Council is proud to have played such a major part in this investment, specifically geared towards the health and leisure of local people.”

The Sports Centre

Modernisation programme commenced in April 2008 and reached completion in December 2009. Outdoor pool works started in December 2008 and were finished July 2009. Keir Moss was the main contractors for Cherwell District Council with Barr and Wray as the pools engineering systems contractor. Leadbitter were retained for outdoor works together with Buckingham Pools and Midland Tiles. Parkwood Community Leisure are the leisure operators for all facilities.


ABOVE: Zöe Salmon and Duncan Goodhew get the 2010 Swimathon under way

Swimathon 2010 hits hundreds of pools across the UK between 16 – 18 April. More than 15,000 swimmers will raise £1.5m for Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Swimathon Foundation. The majority of the funds will help Marie Curie Nurses provide free nursing care to cancer patients and those with other terminal illnesses in their own homes. Television presenter Zöe Salmon and Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew were two of a large number of personalities expected to take part in a swim session. Duncan Goodhew is one of Britain’s most instantly recognisable sportsmen. Duncan was awarded an MBE for services to sport in 1981 and is now an

author, motivational speaker and President of Swimathon.

Duncan said: “Swimathon is incredibly exciting. It enables normal people to do extraordinary things. Everyone’s challenge is very much their own – but not only do their efforts benefit themselves, they benefit their country and the charities.” Now in its 24th year, over half a million swimmers have taken part in Swimathon – swimming the equivalent of over 24 times round the world and raising over £30m.



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