First children receive free swimming lessons in Telford and Wrekin
Almost 200 children in Telford and Wrekin have now started free swimming lessons a part of Telford & Wrekin Council’s 10 by 10 programme.
In total the children have spent more than 80 hours in the water learning valuable life-skills, with more children starting their lessons each week across the borough.
10 by 10 encourages children to try ten activities that will help them to discover new talents and opportunities before the age of ten. Through the council, schools and other local partners, new offers are continually being developed and added, including those accessible to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
The free swimming lessons are provided by Telford & Wrekin Council to children living in the borough aged between five and 10 years who are unable to swim 10 meters on their front and back. Each child is eligible for a free block of lessons (up to 13 lessons).
Mum Kylie from Telford commented: “This new 10by10 initiative launched by Telford & Wrekin was just what we needed to give us that extra nudge to get our daughter signed up for swimming lessons. We know all the benefits that learning to swim can bring but as busy parents it was something that we hadn’t got booked in. This opportunity has been fantastic and we can already see the difference a few weeks in the pool on these lessons has made on our daughter’s ability. She is more confident in the water and we will be looking to continue the lessons for her after her 10by10 free block is over. We got signed up at our local pool which is Abraham Darby Sport and Leisure Centre and the process has been easy to navigate.”
This offer will be available over the next two years and will be delivered through the council’s Swim4Life programme. The lessons will be delivered across the four pools in the borough; Abraham Darby Sports and Leisure Centre. Newport Swimming and Fitness Centre, Oakengates Leisure Centre and Wellington Civic and Leisure Centre.
Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Shaun Davies (Labour) said: “We are hugely proud of our unique free-swimming lesson offer in Telford and Wrekin. From the offset we knew how popular these lessons would be with families and I am delighted that in less than a month so many children have already started their swimming lesson journey. The offer will be available for the next two years so we would encourage parents to continue to sign up.”
The 10 by 10 activities ten year olds are encouraged to try are to:
• Join in competitive sports
• Play an instrument
• Learn to swim
• Take part in drama and performing arts
• Visit the seaside and the countryside
• Experience museums, galleries and heritage sites
• Take part in camping trips and overnight residential
• Learn to ride a bike
• Take part in debating
• Use a library
Councillor Shirley Reynolds (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for Children, Young People and Education, said:
"There are ten activities children should try before they are ten to help them discover their talents and experience the world. From learning to swim to stepping back in time at a local museum, a happy childhood is full of new experiences like these.
“Swimming is a fantastic life skill, not only does it help your child enjoy the water, but it can also help prevent drowning, develop fine motor skills and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
"It's through these experiences that children can discover their talents and opportunities they might not realise they had. We don't want children in our borough to miss out on these opportunities during their primary school life. That's why we are working with schools and partners to put together this comprehensive and diverse range of activities to boost children's learning – many are free. Whether through taking part in activities at school or by finding local offers on the new website, we hope your child can try as many 10 by 10 activities as possible."