YOUNGSTERS in Glasgow are being urged to follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s recent Commonwealth medal-winning heroes and celebrate learning to swim.
With September marking Learn to Swim Month, local authorities, leisure trusts and aquatic providers across Scotland have been rolling out a month-long celebration of swimming, which will see hundreds of youngsters take part in swimming lessons every week.
The month is also celebrating the importance of swimming teachers, with those interested in long-term or shorter-term positions to find out more about becoming a swimming teacher by contacting their local leisure trust or aquatic provider.
The Learn to Swim Framework is a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water that is delivered by local authorities, leisure trusts and aquatic providers.
It has already seen more than 100,000 young Scots take part in swimming lessons and is targeting another 100,000 by 2025 in a bid to create confident, safer and competent swimmers.
Championing the Learn to Swim programme and Learn to Swim month are programme ambassadors and swim superstars, Duncan Scott and Toni Shaw, who both recently achieved major success at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Brian Lironi, director of corporate affairs with Scottish Water, said: "Our ambition for the Learn to Swim programme is to create an enduring legacy for Scotland that will help build a nation of happier, healthier and safer young people who fulfil their potential in and out of the pool.
"Everyone should be able to enjoy Scotland’s rivers, lochs, reservoirs and shorelines safely and with confidence – so it’s brilliant to have a month dedicated to such a fundamental life skill."
A total of 36 leisure trusts and aquatic providers are now welcoming children back after the summer holidays in more than 160 pools.
Euan Lowe, chief executive officer at Scottish Swimming, said: "Learning to swim is a life skill and it’s so important for everyone to learn how to be confident and safe in the water.
"A Learn to Swim month digital toolkit has been sent to all providers and a series of promotional videos are being created to help encourage more children into the programme.
"We are aiming to reduce the barriers to any child learning to swim so we’re delighted to have a month dedicated to the initiative."
Scottish Water agreed to continue its partnership with Scottish Swimming to support the National Learn to Swim Framework last March with an aim to create a generation of confident and safe swimmers.
The next chapter of Learn to Swim will build a legacy for Scotland by improving water safety, and, through working with schools and local authorities, giving all children a platform for success and to achieve their full potential in the pool and out.
You can find out more information on the Learn to Swim programme HERE.