New plan to keep people in the swim
THREE swimming ‘missionaries’ to get unfit and overweight people back into the pool have been appointed.
Salford council has employed the trio, each on a 12-month salary, to take the message about the benefits of swimming to local communities and schools.
The new posts will be financed using part of a £211,000 Lottery grant – and aims to save lives.
Government figures show almost a third of adults in the town are obese and almost a quarter of children leaving primary schools – well above the national average.
The motivators are part of a new campaign, called ‘Swim Your Way,’ highlighting the variety of swimming sessions available across Salford.
Garry Bateman, head of sport and leisure at Salford Community Leisure, said: “We understand there are certain barriers to swimming, from financial issues through to body confidence and cultural considerations, and these are just some of the reasons why more people do not swim.
“We want to find out exactly how we can help and inspire people to swim more regularly.” The money has been awarded to Salford Community Leisure, which runs swimming pools and sports centres in the city, by Sport England. The council recognised the importance of swimming when it chose not to shut Broughton Pool in 2014 but instead spent £120,000 on urgent repairs. In February, the M.E.N. revealed the city’s sports centres are to be refurbished at a cost of £35m. The improvement programme will take ten years to complete. It is hoped the investment will play a key role in improving the health of the city’s unfit. A council report says that in 2014 there were 1,591 premature deaths in Salford, and of these ‘there is potential that 264 were directly linked to physical inactivity.’ It says that physically driven children are more likely to do better academically and sport plays an important role in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in the town. Research shows reasons people did not swim included lack of awareness of local facilities, perceived lack of time to go swimming and body confidence issues. Garry Bateman
Broughton Pool will be working to lure swimmers back