75,000 Kids in Scotland Learn Essential Life Skills

20 June 2023
Learn to Swim

Life Lessons

Children can learn to swim as well as improve their water safety and swimming techniques, regardless of their age, ability or skill level

More than 75,000 children across the country are being offered water safety lessons to mark Drowning Prevention Week.

Learn to Swim is continuing its major water safety push to coincide with this year's Drowning Prevention Week as National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) figures show 45 people in Scotland tragically lost their lives to accidental drowning in 2022.

The initiative is made possible through a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water, a National Framework delivered by 37 leisure trusts and aquatic providers across more than 160 pools.

It aims to deliver a lasting, positive legacy for Scotland by creating “Generation Swim” - children who are happier, healthier and safer, as well as being confident and competent in and around water.

Euan Lowe, CEO of Scottish Swimming, said: “Scotland has more coastline, lochs, rivers, reservoirs and bodies of water than the rest of the UK, so it is crucial that children are being taught water safety.

“As summer rolls around we are aware that many youngsters will be keen to get into pools, so our mission is to provide them with the skills to swim safely and confidently.

“The lessons delivered during Drowning Prevention Week will be specifically tailored to integrate crucial water safety skills, from the implementation of the Water Safety Code to basic floating techniques which can make a massive difference when someone feels in danger in the water.”

Lessons span from Orkney to the Borders and will be underpinned by Learn to Swim’s dedication to instil children with confidence and knowledge to ensure they are safer in and around water.

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said “We cannot over-emphasise the importance of water safety all year round but particularly as we approach summer and children are likely to be around water more frequently.

“Drowning prevention is the main objective for the Learn to Swim National Framework. We want to make sure that children feel safe in the water and their parents feel confident and comfortable in their swimming abilities.

“Drowning Prevention Week offers us a great opportunity to reconsolidate that message and continue to raise awareness of the importance of learning this vital life skill.”

Drowning Prevention Week, organised by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), stands as one of the largest water safety campaigns in the UK and Ireland, specifically targeting the summer season. Its primary goal is to equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to make informed decisions regarding water safety, particularly during the summer months.

The Learn to Swim Framework is committed to creating supportive and quality environments in which children can learn to swim, as well as improve their water safety and swimming techniques, regardless of their age, ability, or skill level.

The programme is centred around progress and enjoyment, and aims to build a legacy of ‘Generation Swim’ in Scotland whereby children achieve their potential in the pool and out.