Media Release: Scottish Water and Scottish Swimming join forces to help 100,000 children learn to swim

Duncan Scott

SCOTTISH Swimming and Scottish Water are joining forces to help more than 100,000 children across the country learn to swim.

Explains a spokesperson: “With 40 per cent of children unable to swim by the time they leave primary school,  Scottish Swimming has today announced that Scottish Water is the new three-year partner for their Learn to Swim programme, which is part of the National Framework for Swimming in Scotland, and over the next three years will reach over 100,000 children across Scotland.”

The launch of this new partnership took place with Active Stirling at The PEAK at Stirling Sports Village with double Olympic silver medallist, Duncan Scott, the new Brand Ambassador for Learn to Swim, and about 50 local schoolchildren.

The Learn to Swim programme, has already been adopted by 16 local authorities and Trusts from Shetland to Dumfries and continues to gather momentum across the country. This supports aquatic providers in the delivery of quality learn to swim programmes, contributing to Scottish Swimming’s vision that ‘Everyone Can Swim’.

The National Framework for Swimming in Scotland highlights the importance of swimming from as early an age as possible as the first seven years are the most influential in establishing good exercise habits and setting foundations for learning throughout life.

In addition, the Learn to Swim programme makes learning to swim fun, and it enables children to take the next steps on the swimmer pathway in to club swimming.

Minister for Sport, Aileen Campbell, said: “Getting children involved in sport and physical activity is beneficial to their wellbeing and also has benefits in later life as they continue that enjoyment either in a competitive environment or as a hobby.

“Swimming is a great activity and this partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water will help more than 100,000 children to swim and we welcome that as we look to get the country more active, and create a healthier nation.”

Forbes Dunlop, chief executive officer of Scottish Swimming, comments: “We are delighted that Scottish Water has come on board as our chosen partner for the Learn to Swim programme.

“With water playing a pivotal role in both our organisations, this partnership seemed a natural fit and the investment will help to roll the Learn to Swim programme out across Scotland over the next three years, enabling children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to learn to swim – an essential life skill.”

These comments were echoed by director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, Brian Lironi: “Across Scotland, there are many miles of coastline and paths along rivers and round lochs and reservoirs for us to all enjoy, and we believe that the more people who are able to swim the better.

“Swimming is a key life skill as well as being great for general wellbeing and fitness, and this exciting partnership with Scottish Swimming will roll the Learn to Swim programme out across Scotland, helping thousands of children learn to swim, and importantly giving them the skills, confidence and knowledge to stay safe and be competent swimmers.”

Added Andrew Bain, chief executive of Active Stirling: “We have been using the new Learn to Swim framework since August last year and have noticed a real improvement in the quality of the children’s swimming and in retention rates within the programme. We are delighted that this new partnership will help to develop the Learn to Swim programme over the next three years.”

Notes to editors:

About Scottish Swimming

Scottish Swimming is the national governing body for swimming in Scotland. Scottish Swimming represents our clubs, swim schools, aquatic disciplines, athletes, coaches and thousands of talented and committed volunteers across the entire swimmer pathway. We are focused on delivering in the following key areas to reach our vision to ensure that everyone can swim: learn to swim, participation in aquatic activities, club development, coaching partnerships and performance.

For more information visit

About Scottish Water

Scottish Water provides vital water and waste water services, essential to daily life, to 2.49 million households and 152,000 business premises across Scotland. Every day, it provides 1.37 billion litres of clear and fresh drinking water and takes away 921 million litres of waste water, which it treats before returning to the environment.

For more information, visit

About Active Stirling

The PEAK at Stirling Sports Village opened in 2009 and is managed by Active Stirling on behalf of Stirling Council. Stirling Sports Village at Forthside, is the biggest single development for sport and leisure in Stirling with an investment of £27.3 million funded by Stirling Council and sportscotland.

Each and every area of Active Stirling is driven by the same belief – that everyone living in the Stirling Council area is entitled to participate in the sport and physical activity of their choice, irrespective of their age, ability or circumstance.

We have four clear goals: Ensure the opportunities to participate exist – fun, safe quality opportunities that are relevant to local needs; Put in place the programmes and facilities necessary to bring about these opportunities; Maximise the number of people participating locally, and the frequency with which they participate; Develop productive partnerships between relevant agencies.
For more information, visit

About Duncan Scott, Brand Ambassador Learn to Swim

Duncan Scott (born 6 May 1997) is a World and European champion swimmer who  won two silver medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics, representing Great Britain. At the 2015 European Championships, he won three gold medals in the 100m and 200 freestyle and 4 x 100m freestyle relay making him the most successful British athlete in the European Games. Duncan grew up in Alloa and now trains at the National Swimming Academy in Stirling representing the University of Stirling.

For further information relating to this press release please, contact Helen Plank on 07702 872964.

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Contact: Helen Plank