New Learn to Swim partnership makes a splash in East Dunbartonshire

07 September 2023
Man in pool teaching kids to swim

Swim Class from Duncan Scott

Kids from East Dunbartonshire receive a swim lesson from Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion

Young swimmers in East Dunbartonshire have taken part in a once-in-a-lifetime swim class with Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion, Duncan Scott, to mark Learn to Swim Month.

Duncan made a splash at East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust's Leisuredrome in Bishopbriggs to celebrate EDLC being recognised as the latest leisure trust to deliver the National Learn to Swim Framework - a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water.

More than 110 local swimmers from preschool age upwards, and seven Learn to Swim teachers joined Duncan to celebrate the occasion which also saw EDLC’s ‘Swimmer of the Month’ crowned by the athlete.

The event not only left the next generation inspired but provided passionate local swimming teachers the opportunity to teach beside one of Scotland’s top athletes, joining Duncan to teach vital life skills such as floating and treading water, as well as sharing top tips on a variety of swimming strokes.

The swimming superstar added celebrity excitement to the event in East Dunbartonshire. EDLC Trust is the newest of 38 aquatic providers delivering the Learn to Swim scheme in 163 pools across Scotland. 

Duncan Scott said: “It’s fantastic to see East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust joining and providing the Learn to Swim programme, and to have been able to join the youngsters and teachers to celebrate Learn to Swim Month. It’s great to see so many passionate kids learning how to stay safe in the water.

“Learn to Swim Month is a key time to recognise the vital community hubs that teach children all over the country the life skill of learning to swim. So many lives would be put at risk if it wasn’t for lessons like these, it’s been inspiring seeing so many budding swimmers today!” 

Learn to Swim Month runs throughout the entire month of September and aims to emphasise the importance of water safety education and the joy of swimming for individuals of all ages and abilities. 

Duncan Scott is joined in his ambassadorship for Learn to Swim by World Champion and Paralympic medallist Toni Shaw. Having such prominent athletes spearheading Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water’s initiative has helped inspire more than 1800 children in East Dunbartonshire to get in the pool and increase their confidence. 

EDLC Trust hopes that by fostering the new Framework, the Learn to Swim programme will go from strength to strength – working closely with children to help them keep fit and healthy and make new friends, while stressing the importance of water safety.

People posing around large Learn to Swim banners

Learn to Swim

representatives from East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, Duncan Scott East Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water

Jim Neill, Chair of East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, said: “It was wonderful to welcome Duncan Scott to the Leisuredrome in Bishopbriggs. He is an inspiration to swimmers across the country, and our young people taking lessons were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet him and to learn from him. 

“We are very fortunate in East Dunbartonshire to have a team of highly dedicated swimming instructors and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them all for all their hard work in delivering excellent swimming programmes to children and young people here at the Leisuredrome, and at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre and the Allander Leisure Centre in Bearsden.”

EDLC Trust's aspiration is that it will add to the current examples of positive impacts the Learn to Swim Framework is having on young swimmers in the local area.

Ally Whike, Director of Aquatics of Scottish Swimming, said: “It’s a priority to get children comfortable and safe in the water. The more familiar they are with the aquatic environment the better. 

“We hope that having Duncan leading from the front will inspire the next generation to embrace opportunities in the water, whether that includes swimming competitively or just enjoying water-based exercise in their daily lives.

“We hope giving the aspiring swimmers in East Dunbartonshire a chance to learn alongside one of our nation's most exceptional swimmers will help continue encouraging more children to get in the pool in communities across Scotland.

The National Learn to Swim Framework has already provided lessons to more than 100,000 children and aims to reach another 100,000 children by 2025.

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs with Scottish Water, said: “Safety in and around water is a key element of the Learn to Swim Framework. Swimming is a hugely valuable skill and learning the basics at a young age is vital.

“The programme equips children with skills that will help them to be safer in and out of the water – whether at their local pool, at the beach on holiday or around Scotland’s miles of coastline, rivers and lochs.”

Learn to Swim is a National Framework committed to creating supportive and quality environments in which children can learn to swim regardless of their age, ability, or skill level. It aims to develop competent swimmers, as well as encouraging youngsters to adopt a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle with sport and fun at its heart.

To learn more about becoming an EDLC swim teacher, visit: