SLSGB Chief Executive Esther Pearson today (17 May) represented SLSGB at the launch of the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) school swimming strategy, a private event held at Westminster Hall.It was announced today that a third of all children leaving primary school are unable to swim 25m unaided, putting children's lives at risk. Water Accident and Incident Database (WAID) data suggests that drowning is the third most common form of accidental death in children in the UK, and 57 of the 400 drownings each year being children. Many argue that if they were able to swim that statistic would be lot lower.The ASA today launched a new swim strategy, focused on encouraging schools and local authorities to deliver swimming. Esther Pearson said:“SLSGB is right behind the campaign promoting swimming and tackling this shocking issue, but we believe that there is a lack of facilities and it’s often expensive to swim and have lessons in leisure centres. Getting water confidence is about getting to know your environment as well as being able to swim, which is why our Nippers programmes are so important for children.”SLSGB encourages schools to establish Surf Life Saving clubs or formalise links with local clubs, to make use of the free to access open water to encourage children to learn how to be safe in the water. SLSGB has also recently launch a new inland waters safety awareness qualification for anyone spending time or working in, on or near water. Esther Pearson said:
“The inland waters safety awareness course would be ideal for teachers taking groups on trips to water environments. Not only can teachers improve their own knowledge of water hazards and what to do in an incident, but they will be able to pass on the important skills they’ve learnt to their pupils.”Olympic medallist Steve Parry today said: “the key to change is to make it fun and give children lots of time on the water”, which is something SLSGB delivers every day, as we work towards reaching 10,000 children each year.