SCOTTISH Swimming had the eyes and ears of Ministers and invited guests at a Parliamentary reception on Thursday 9 November, on the importance of swimming in Scotland and the role swimming plays in raising attainment, improving health, well-being and engaging communities.
Over 900,000 people in Scotland swim at least once a month with over 100,000 children learning to swim.
But swimming can also play an important part in raising attainment levels, creating successful learners and confident individuals. With a membership of over 22,000, Scottish Swimming also champions the role clubs play in engaging communities, providing a focus for pride and achievement.
Speaking at the reception, Forbes Dunlop, chief executive officer at Scottish Swimming, said: “Scottish Swimming’s vision is Everyone Can Swim. We are absolutely passionate about that.
“We know the impact swimming can have on the individual. We know that nearly one million people swim every month. We know that swimming has a strong impact on those big national outcomes we all try and contribute towards.
“Swimming is accessible to all ages and to all abilities and is also a truly inclusive sport that plays a vital role in helping build active and stronger local communities. We also know that if you learn to swim when you are young you are much more likely to continue swimming later in life.
“We are delighted to be given the opportunity to share our vision on such a platform.”
Scottish Swimming’s vision is to ensure that everyone can swim, a vision backed by world champion and Olympic medallist, Duncan Scott, who is also the Learn to Swim Ambassador.
He attended the Parliamentary reception and said: “While swimming is a vital life skill, it has undoubtedly given me so much more.
“Swimming has provided me with a real sense of purpose and a set of skills I can use beyond the pool. Swimming has provided me with a platform and a voice to share my experiences. I am very proud to be the Scottish Water Learn to Swim Ambassador and I hope my story inspires kids to learn to swim, enjoy swimming and for swimming to teak them to places they never thought possible.”
Scottish Swimming remains ambitious in their campaign to enable more people to benefit from swimming and hopes that the reception will provide party political acknowledgement that swimming plays a vital role in building an active nation enabling individuals to Start Well, Live Well and Age Well.
Cabinet Secretary for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, said: “Sport resonates across all political parties in the Chamber and impacts on a number of departments such as health, justice, equality and education.
“Sport has a reach that the Government is envious of, impacting on all communities across Scotland. Sport is a really powerful tool for social good; it gets people active and can generate resilience. It’s important we all continue to work together to build a case for sport across all society.”
Liz Smith, Shadow Minister for Sport and Education and host of the reception, said: “Swimming, of all the different sports, transcends a lot of the portfolios that we are working on as politicians, whether that’s in the education portfolio, the health portfolio or looking at social inclusion or communities.
“Certainly the people I speak to in my constituency or within the Cross-Party Group, value the network that swimming brings.”
Scottish Swimming’s campaign, to ensure that every child can swim, is ongoing.
To view the video, which highlighted the theme, click here: https://youtu.be/970eWBE5s6c
To show your support on social media, use the hashtag #everyonecanswim
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