08-04-2016

Blog

Live Active Leisure is proud to announce their new alternative to Top Up Swimming Lessons which they launched in partnership this week with Perthshire Flooring.  Officially Nicki’s new favourite feel-good LAL service!

I’ve spent a huge amount of time in Perth Leisure Pool over the last couple of weeks with photoshoots a go-go as the marketing team prepare to swap out their stock images of ‘people in a pool’ for real photographs of local members and users.  It’s been great fun and as a number of the photos involved kids, it reminded me of just how much kids love to be in the water splashing about. It is truly heart-warming – check this fab gallery out if you’re in the mood for a wee smile!

The flipside of this is the number of children who can’t swim and grow fearful of the water.  One of LAL’s big success stories of recent years is the ‘Top Up Swimming Lessons’ programme delivered in partnership with Active Schools. This Scottish Government funded scheme ran from 2010 until the end of 2015 and was set up to ensure all children would be able to swim a length by the end of primary school.

neivswimWHY IS THE PROGRAMME REQUIRED?

- Every child in Perth and Kinross is given 1 block of swimming lessons between primary 4 and 5.

- In Perth and Kinross 37% of children completing their school swimming lessons are unable to swim. (Approx. 500 children in 2014/15)

- In certain areas of Perth and Kinross over 70% of children in a class are unable to swim when they come to lessons.

- Casual participation in swimming in the UK is declining. Families and children of an appropriate age are not choosing to go swimming.There is no statutory requirement to provide school swimming lessons.

- Not being able to swim 25 metres puts a child at risk.

- Between August 2012 and June 2014 Live Active Leisure delivered additional Top Up Swimming lessons out-with school hours to some 156 children and of these, 74 achieved the Scottish Swimming Triple S standard.   I think we’ll agree that is AMAZING news!

Unfortunately, the programme fell prey to the austerity cuts and came to an end on December 31st 2015.  However, such has been the success of the programme across Perth and Kinross that Live Active Leisure decided to think outside the box and look at things from a different angle.  They know that, like themselves, many local businesses are looking for both new ways to promote their product and opportunities to become more involved in their local community. 

Enter Gill McShea in her new role as Partnership and Funding Manager with a plan for a business sponsor who might want to support the costs associated with delivering the programme at a local level.   In a fantastic first for LAL, Julie Cumming of Perthshire Flooring stepped forward and the new initiative – called swim Success - was ready to launch!  I do love when a great plan comes together.

freeswim126

The private sponsorship from Perthshire Flooring will fund the programme for the period between April 2016 to March 2017 in a partnership that is a first for the company, and we think, unique to Scotland.  

Perthshire Flooring on Canal Street is owned by husband and wife team, Garry and Julie Cumming who already have an association with LAL via Julie’s work as a casual fitness instructor at Live Active Rodney.  Anyone who attends Julie’s classes will know just how enthusiastic she is about fitness and exercise – and for those who don’t know, her husband is the tall man at the back who looks as red faced and worn out as the rest of us!

She is passionate about exercise and has already become a proactive ambassador for the Swim Success programme - as you’ll see from our pics, she’s not afraid to get stuck in! As you might well imagine, when I caught up with LAL team they were thrilled to be in apposition to keep this great programme running.  

The overall aim of the Swim Success programme is to help primary aged children achieve the Scottish Swimming Triple S Standard which ensures they are safe swimmers.  LAL will do this by providing an additional block of free swimming lessons out with school hours. As well as this, all participants will be given a Live Active Card, free swimming sessions for their family, information and advice.

freeswim170Julie had this to say:

“We are thrilled to be involved in such a forward thinking programme and as both business owners in the area and parents ourselves, we felt that this was a great opportunity to give something back to our customers and the people of Perth and Kinross.  I can’t wait to hear about the first success stories and look forward to supporting Live Active Leisure in highlighting the benefits of this programme.”

Huge thanks to Karen Steele of Perth Leisure Pool, who will be delivering the programme following her success with the previous Top Up Swimming Lessons, to Dale Robertson the Active Schools Coordinator at LAL and finally, to our willing models who all enjoyed a splash around before their class started this week!