ASA launch the new ‘Go Swimming!’ resource

Exciting new resource for everyone who wants to ‘Go Swimming’!. Help inspire more people to Go Swimming today. Join in getting ready for the Games and encourage everyone to visit swimming.org/go, the brand new online companion launched by the ASA. Quite simply, it provides everything a person needs to know about taking part in aquatics. If you have been inspired by our athletes to find out more about swimming and its disciplines, you will discover some great features, including an easy-to-use Poolfinder tool where they can check out details of the clubs and centres nearest to them. Encourage everyone to share in the mounting excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games with us as we provide all the information needed to enjoy all elements of aquatic sports:

  • An easy to use ‘Poolfinder’ tool to locate the nearest pools, view their facilities, clubs and contact details
  • Clear, concise guidance on how and why to join a club including routes on getting into and trying out water polo, synchronised swimming and diving
  • Exciting, not-to-be-missed content such as tips on improving swimming from the experts, exclusive video excerpts and interviews with Team GB heroes
  • How to get more involved in swimming, from volunteering or officiating through to starting a brand new career as a teacher or coach
  • Guidance and advice for everyone: adults, parents, under 16s, the disabled, existing swimmers or those completely new to aquatics

To find out more go to the swimming.org website… 

Deafness should not stop children learning how to swim

A new resource is available for swimming teachers, coaches and parents to help teach deaf children to swim. ‘Deaf friendly swimming’ has been launched by The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) in partnership with the ASA. The guide shows swimming coaches, teachers and parents how, through making simple steps, deaf children can be taught to swim. Swimming centres and clubs will receive training, support and resources to help include deaf children in swimming sessions. Download the guide here.
Carole Barough, ASA National Development Manager, Disability Swimming, said: “The ASA is working with pools and clubs to ensure that all children and adults have the opportunity to learn to swim, regardless of their ability. We are also keen to help everyone to continue to swim on a regular basis and maximise their own potential. We welcome the provision of this resource, which is an excellent tool for teachers, coaches and parents to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing young people are fully supported in accessing swimming sessions”.
The resource aims to address excessive concerns about health and safety and a lack of understanding about deafness. The National Deaf Children’s Society have conducted research which reveals that two out of five deaf children have had difficulties accessing swimming pools or classes because of attitudes towards their hearing loss, meaning that they lack confidence in the water and are falling behind other children their age.
Hayley Jarvis, Inclusive Activities Manager at NDCS, said: “Too many deaf children are currently being denied the opportunity to learn swimming – a skill that could be vital in an emergency, as clubs and centres don’t understand how to meet their needs. However, we know these barriers can easily be overcome. Deafness should not stop children learning how to swim. By taking simple steps like using hand gestures or visual aids, teachers and coaches can include a deaf child in swimming activities. We are looking forward to working with swimming centres and clubs across the UK to help deaf children enjoy the water safely”. Read more on the swimming.org website…

Swim your way to long term health and wellbeing

Many people these days are leading increasingly inactive lifestyles, which is expected to result in many more suffering from health problems and chronic diseases in the future. By making a small change to your routine, it can have a huge impact on your health. Instead of going for a swift pint go for a swift swim! Or maybe you watch too much television? Why not swap the sofa for the pool and you will soon see the improvements to your health and fitness levels.
Swimming for 30 minutes at least once a week offers a whole host of health benefits including controlling cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, lowering the risk of cancer and preventing osteoporosis. It can burn up to 350 calories, helping with weight loss. Just think how easy it could be to fit in a quick swim, in a quiet daytime period at your local pool or even an over 50’s dedicated session. It’s not just your physical health that swimming has a positive impact on – it improves your mental well being, helps you to feel more motivated and boosts your energy levels. Swimming is also a great way to spend quality time with your family and one in three children say swimming is their favourite activity. You’ll definitely be the favourite grandparent when you offer to take them swimming!
If you’re not a confident swimmer, it’s never too late to learn. The first step is enrolling in swimming lessons to gain the skills to be safe in and around the water. Most pools and swim schools offer adult classes in a friendly and supportive environment that follow the British Gas ASA Learn to Swim Programme, the most successful sports programme of its kind and your assurance of quality. Read more on the swimming.org website…

Olympic diver launches bid to prevent drowning

Last week, British Olympic diver Nick Robinson-Baker launched a national campaign to reduce drowning and promote water safety. Nick, who became a lifesaver when he rescued fellow diver Monique Gladding from the water at a World Cup meeting in Russia last year, is spearheading the campaign by the Royal Lifesaving Society UK (RLSS UK).
The official launch of Water Safety Awareness Week, (which takes place June 16 to 24), comes following research revealed last month by Kellogg’s and the ASA that over a third of children are leaving primary school unable to swim 25 metres unaided. This is despite swimming being a statutory element of the National Curriculum and drowning being the third most common cause of accidental death in children.
RLSS UK hopes its national campaign will help to reduce the annual number of accidental deaths from drowning in the UK. Latest available figures, from the National Water Safety Forum, show that there were 420 accidental deaths from drowning in 2010 – one nearly every 17 hours.
Nick, aged 24, who is competing at London’s 2012 Games, said:
“Every drowning is a tragedy. With an average of 400 accidental deaths from drowning each year more needs to be done to raise awareness of how to be safe in, on and near water. I hope that this campaign can help to educate people about the potential dangers. This isn’t about telling people to stay away from water, but about knowing how to enjoy water safely, understand the risks and what to do in the event of a problem. I had a real wake-up shock when I had to rescue Monique last year. You never think that you’ll need to save someone in the water, and the truth is that I didn’t have a clue what to do, adrenaline took over, and luckily it turned out ok. Now I’d like to do whatever I can to convince people to become more aware that accidents in the water do happen and we should all know what to do if the worst does happen.”
Key safety tips being promoted during Water Safety Awareness Week include understanding beach flags and signs, taking time to check tide times and ensuring that you won’t be cut off when the tide comes in. At inland water sites, they include only swimming at lifeguarded lakes and always wearing a buoyancy aid when on the water.
Find out more about the campaign at the Water Safety Awareness Week website and follow the Week on Twitter at #WSAW2012. Find out more about the ASA’s School Swimming Manifesto and what you can do to raise awareness of learning to swim, go to the swimming.org website…

Disability proves no barrier for Swimathon achievement

Swimming has given a disabled man from Canterbury the delight of achieving a personal goal when he successfully took part in the Swimathon Sports Relief Team Mile at Hartsdown Pool in Margate. 43 year old Andrew Warden has learning and physical disabilities and has always loved the water. Since becoming a resident at Avenues Trust Smock Acre care home in Canterbury, he has been supported by staff to enjoy swimming safely. Some of his carers made up the rest of the Swimathon team of five and provided support for Andrew in the water.

…nowadays having a severe disability such as Andrew has is not a barrier to being involved in sport. Swimming is Andrew’s main hobby and over the past four years has given him enormous benefits. By building up his physical strength, he is now swimming at least twice a week at Kings Mead Swimming Pool in Canterbury and Hartsdown Pool in Margate.

Lara Lill is Head of Health and Wellbeing at the ASA, the governing body for swimming and its associated disciplines in England.

“What a wonderful achievement this is – one of the great things about swimming is that it’s a fully inclusive activity for everyone to take part in. It’s a fantastic sport for adults and children with disabilities or special needs because the water is weight-bearing, which means it’s perfect for therapy and recovery. It’s already the favourite sport of many disabled adults like Andrew because it has amazing benefits with confidence-building and all the health and fitness aspects.”

Sarah Carberry, Acting House Manager at Avenues Smock Acre, said: “The Swimathon has been a great way of helping Andrew integrate into the community by participating in a local event with people he knows and surroundings he is familiar with. When Andrew finished his lengths I told him he had finished and pointed up to his mum telling him she was watching him, Andrew gave the biggest smile I’ve ever seen.”

“Andrew is now capable of swimming with very little support in the water and can swim between six and ten lengths of the pool. We are very pleased that Andrew has progressed so well with his swimming over the past few years. He has difficulty communicating but it was clear the first time he got in the pool that he enjoys swimming.

“Together with employees at the swimming pool, our Support Workers have worked with Andrew in the pool, encouraging him to swim independently. He is now well known at the local swimming pools who have all been very accommodating and supportive so it’s been really useful to raise awareness of disability in the community.”

Stella Warden, Andrew’s mum is also very pleased with the progress Andrew has made: “I am very happy and proud that Andrew was able to do the Swimathon. I was in tears as I watched him, it was such an achievement him just being part of it.”

Andrew’s sister Leslee Samuel had never seen him swim before she watched him take part: “It is enormously pleasing to see that nowadays having a severe disability such as Andrew has is not a barrier to being involved in sport or charity fundraising. Andrew loves to swim and I am sure he would be thrilled to realise he has raised several hundred pounds for charity by doing something he enjoys.”

Avenues provide a lot of support to disabled people across London, the South East and East Anglia, including a sport and active lifestyles project to get more disabled people active and regular supported swimming sessions for disabled people in Suffolk via Optua.

To get involved in swimming and find your nearest club use our Pool Finder – put in your postcode to find your local pool and ask about disability swimming lessons and clubs where you’ll find the right facilities with ASA qualified professionals. Read Andrew’s story on the swimming.org website…

The ASA School Swimming Manifesto

The ASA six-point manifesto aims to improve central and local government support for swimming and make school swimming lessons a priority.
The manifesto, titled ‘Save School Swimming, Save Lives’, is in response to the recent research carried out by Kellogg’s and the ASA revealing that one in three children are leaving primary school unable to swim.

The six points included in the manifesto are:

  1. Every child learning to swim in primary school
  2. Improve training for primary school teachers
  3. Robust monitoring of school swimming at Ofsted
  4. Swimming as a school budget priority
  5. Support at secondary schools
  6. Help keep school pools open

Find out more details on the ASA School Swimming Manifesto.

Adult Learn To Swim

Knowing how to swim is a must – it is a skill that could ultimately save your or your child’s life. But if you’re not confident in the pool, never learnt to swim or don’t know how to get your children started you might need some more advice. When you decide to learn to swim, it can be a long and challenging process, but the rewards you’ll reap in the end are well worth it. The first step is to contact your local pool and ask about adult beginner and improver classes. They will be able to tell you about times, dates, prices and whether there is a waiting list. If you are unsure about starting lessons, ask if you can watch a class or two to get a better idea of whether it’s for you, or ask to speak with one of the teachers.
The feeling of accomplishment and your new-found confidence in the water are only the beginning; it’s also a great way to keep fit, tone up, and meet new people.
Here are just some of the benefits of learning to swim:
– The recommended amount of exercise for adults is 30 minutes at least five times a week and swimming is a great way to hit these targets.
– Swimming burns up to 350 calories in half an hour so it’s a great way to shape up.
– Studies have shown swimming improves psychological well being and significantly reduces tension and depression.
– It’s fun! Once you can swim, you can take part in all types of sessions such as aqua aerobics, aqua jogging and aqua zumba.
– If you’re a gym goer, you can follow a gym-style workout programme for the pool – British Gas Swimfit – to help you achieve your goals.
– It’s the only sport that can save your life. Over 400 people drown in the UK every year and it is the third most common cause of accidental death in children.
– Swimming is for all. No matter what your age, weight and physical ability, swimming and water-based activities can provide you with a workout.
– Swimming is particularly good for pregnant women or those with disabilities, injuries or illnesses like arthritis because swimming can support up to 90% of the body’s weight in the water.
– Swimming can offer the ultimate challenge at any level, whether that’s swimming the length of the channel in your local pool or taking the plunge at an open water British Gas Great Swim
Plus, knowing how to swim opens up a whole range of other sports, just imagine, you could don a snorkel and swim with fish, or even complete a scuba diving course. You could join a canoeing or sailing club or even take your swimming to the next level and enter competitions!
Read more at the swimming.org website…

Well Done Frank! Frank Skinner Makes a splash for sport relief

Frank Skinner has conquered his lifelong fear of water, by swimming 25 metres as part of his ‘Frank Skinner Dipping Challenge’ for Sport Relief.

The comedian put himself to the ultimate test, undergoing eight weeks of physical and psychological training to help him overcome his phobia to be able to take on the challenge. Entering the pool at Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre at 10:16am today, Frank was cheered on by a very supportive audience including Adrian Chiles, Clare Balding and Karen Pickering.

Halfway through the swim, Frank swallowed water and began to panic. He said: “Towards the end I had one of my little panics that I often have – but I could hear the crowd and I just thought ‘no, no, I can’t stop now’ and I kept going. I was half drowning, half choking -It was a good advert for terror!”

However, despite a tense start, Frank managed to complete the swim in his first attempt and was greeted at the sidelines by Karen and trainer, David Tatler, with a congratulatory hug.

Upon completing the challenge, Frank said: “I’m absolutely knocked out. I’m so relieved and excited. I lay in bed last night thinking about all the different ways I wouldn’t finish that length. I want someone to learn to swim because of this. I know it looked really tough and frightening but I’ve had a good laugh and it will stay with me forever.”


Read more on the Swimming.org website…

Watch Frank learning to swim on Youtube…

Frank Skinner completes his Dipping Challenge for Sport Relief 2012…

 

It’s not too late to do your bit for Sport Relief

Over a million people took to the streets on Sunday 25 March to run a mile for Sport Relief, but it’s not too late to do your bit, as in just a month’s time you can take part in the first ever swimming mile for Sport Relief too!

Raising money for Sport Relief – Simply sign up to take part in the Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief, taking place at 650 pools across the country from 27 to 29 April as part of the Swimathon Weekend. It’s your chance to do something amazing by raising funds for projects across the world’s poorest countries. The money you raise could provide swimming lessons to children in Bangladesh where 50 children die every day during the monsoon season. Read more on the Swimming.org website…

Sign up for the Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief as part of the It’s part of the Swimathon weekend which starts on 27th April 2012…