WHILE Scotland continued to ‘punch well above its weight’, bringing home ten medals from the Aquatics competition of the XX Commonwealth Games, Scottish Swimming believes that medal success can only continue by ensuring that every child is given the opportunity to learn to swim before leaving primary school.
Over ten days of competition Scottish swimmers and divers achieved no less than three Games records, one British record and 23 National records along with an impressive tally of ten medals (three Golds, three Silvers and four Bronze).
While this was a fantastic achievement by the athletes and coaches Scottish Swimming is now keen to ensure that swimming and more importantly learning to swim is a priority for the next generation. Forbes Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Swimming, explains: “We’ve just finished six days of swimming and four days of diving at the Commonwealth Games and the team have put in some excellent performances.
“Lots of the athletes talked at their post-race interviews of their wish and desire that their performances would inspire other people to swim. Here at Scottish Swimming, we believe passionately that every child should be given the opportunity to learn to swim before they leave primary school.
“Currently, over 30 per cent of children leave without being able to swim and we are determined to work closely with local and national partners to address this.”
This figure of 30 per cent equates to 15,000 children a year leaving primary school not being able to swim, and with the provision of primary school swimming lessons being a non-statutory requirement in Scotland, delivery of school swimming lessons differs extensively between and even within local authorities.
Commonwealth Games champion, Ross Murdoch, is just one of the medallists to support Scottish Swimming’s campaign. He said: “I learnt to swim at a young age and always found it to be great fun. My parents got me involved in the sport and I went to swimming lessons from around four years old. It’s amazing to think that my first step into a swimming pool all those years ago would lead me to becoming Commonwealth champion.”
Scottish Swimming also has a strong focus on building stronger, sustainable clubs, throughout Scotland as it is recognised that it the clubs that are the foundation on which swimming is developed.
Speaking about his progression into club swimming, Murdoch continued: “I got into a club at around seven years-old and everything just moved on from there. Swimming is great fun and being part of a club has kept me fit, provided me with opportunities, given me friends for life and made me feel part of something special.”
Scottish Swimming has a network of over 160 clubs based across the length and breadth of Scotland, details of which can be found on the governing body’s website, www.scottishswimming.com/clubs.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
To find out more about the #everychildcanswim campaign click here: http://www.scottishswimming.com/everychildcanswim
To watch our Commonwealth Games medallists talk about when they learnt to swim, click here: http://youtu.be/jlh1frcVwY4
To watch our club video click here: http://youtu.be/ugH0cLKI2Rk?list=UU2ZiRoD5GZu-mlSHarlqqZQ
To listen to the full conversation with Ross Murdoch, click here: https://soundcloud.com/scottishswimming/ross-murdoch-learn-to-swimjoining-a-club
To listen to the full conversation with Forbes Dunlop, click here: https://soundcloud.com/scottishswimming/everychildcanswim-forbes-dunlop
To download high resolution images go to our media centre: http://www.scottishswimming.com/media/images.aspx
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