Swimming may claim to be Britain’s biggest participation sport, but it won’t stay that way for long if the results of a new survey from the ASA are to be believed. The report, jointly released with Kellogg’s, shows that a third of children cannot swim the required 25 metres by the time they leave primary school and of those, 39% have never even been offered school swimming lessons despite it being a statutory element of the National Curriculum.
It’s not just about finding the next Rebecca Adlington however, with drowning the third most common cause of accidental death of children in England and the number of deaths increasing year on year.
Beyond the issues with education, the study also provided conclusions on parental responsibility, with the worrying prospect of a vicious circle arising, with parents unable to pass on swimming skills to their children. One in six parents admitted they never take their child swimming, for the large part because they either can’t swim themselves or they do not feel confident enough in their swimming ability to help their child in the pool.
It’s a campaign the ASA has taken to the government and is one supported by GB Olympian James Goddard and Rebecca Adlington’s mother, Kay. Find out more in the video below.