30 November 2023
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Scotland’s swim leaders dive in to build on next wave30 November 2023
L-R: Duncan Scott and Euan Lowe
Duncan Scott, Learn to Swim Ambassador, Euan Lowe, CEO of Scottish Swimming attend the inaugural Learn to Swim conference
A Record number of experts dedicated to delivering vital swimming lessons in Scotland have united to discuss the next steps in creating “generation swim”.
This year’s National Learn to Swim Conference welcomed 32 local authorities, leisure trusts and aquatic providers to share learnings and promote the country’s vital National Framework.
The leading figures came together in Cumbernauld last week to discuss the Learn to Swim National Framework – a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water - which has already provided lessons to more than 100,000 youngsters, and wants to reach a further 100,000 by 2025.
From Orkney to the Borders, Learn to Swim providers hailed from all corners of the country to discuss crucial elements and next steps of the programme like water safety, teacher recruitment.
Attendees had the chance to hear from Scottish Swimming, and Learn to Swim providers, who outlined their vision for the next phase of Learn to Swim, with the chance to create a long-lasting swimming legacy for the nation.
Euan Lowe, Chief Executive Officer at Scottish Swimming, said: “To be able to meet with the go-to authorities on swimming in Scotland each year is invaluable. We’re very lucky to have such collaborative partners, all willing to work towards the common goal of creating generations that are safe and competent in the water.
“It goes far beyond that, if swimming can form a key part of the lives of those growing up in Scotland, it can also have a really positive impact on the nation’s physical and mental wellbeing.
“Events like these are fundamental for sharing best practice, updates on the latest programme insights and discuss key challenges being faced. It also gives us an opportunity to celebrate all of the providers in Scotland doing a brilliant job of promoting swimming in a positive and safe way around the country.”
Alongside workshops and networking, attendees heard from the Scottish Swimming team on their learnings from the inaugural Learn to Swim conference delivered by European Aquatics earlier in the month.
Attendees also heard more about Digital Awards – a project designed to reward and recognise children as they progress through the stages of Learn to Swim.
Closing the ceremony on the 22 November was Duncan Scott, the Olympic, World & Commonwealth champion who has been a Learn to Swim ambassador since its founding in 2017.
Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs with Scottish Water, said: “Learning to swim is such an important safety skill – everyone should be able to enjoy Scotland’s miles of rivers, lochs, reservoirs and shorelines safely and with confidence.
“Strategic planning days like this national conference offer an incredible opportunity to not only celebrate the dedicated efforts of everyone involved in the Learn to Swim Framework, but to also listen and learn from the views and stories shared about the positive impact the programme is having across the country – key drivers underpinning Learn to Swim’s success.
“We're making a really positive difference in creating Generation Swim, a generation of safe and competent swimmers, who not only learn a vital life skill but will also get to experience the wider health and social benefits that swimming can offer.
“Through this collaboration and ambition, the future is sure to be very bright for young people learning to swim in Scotland.”
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, and is delivered by 38 leisure trusts and aquatic providers across more than 160 pools.
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 reach their full potential both in the pool and out.
For more information on the Learn to Swim programme, visit: learntoswim.scot