Free swimming lessons for children across Manchester have proved so popular they are set to continue until Christmas benefiting more youngsters than ever.
Children from the city were offered the free swimming lessons in all Manchester Leisure Centres last month as part of a Government-led drive to help youngsters achieve the Key Stage 2 swimming award.
Serco Leisure who manage and operate nine swimming pools in Manchester offered pupils in year five and six access to their Swimlife learn to swim programme free of charge to help them develop their swimming skills and achieve the all important Key Stage 2, which requires children to be able to swim for 25metres both on the back and front.
The Swimlife programme currently runs at the nine swimming pools most evenings and weekends at a price of £33.00 for a 10-week course but Serco Leisure offered a free place to 9-11 year olds in the city for a period of up to 5 weeks through the city's schools.
Due to the recent success of the uptake on the free lessons, it is being continued until Christmas and this time children in years four, five and six are also eligible to take up the free swimming lessons.
Kim Wilson, Aquatic Commercial Manager for Serco Leisure, said "We are really pleased with the success of the free swimming lessons that we offered to pupils in school year five and six. We are keen to ensure that all children are able to attain the Key Stage 2 award and by offering free swimming lessons to years four, five and six we hope that we can help more children to achieve this."
In addition, pupils who take up the free swimming lessons will receive a £10 discount on the next course of swimming lessons that starts on 5 January 2009.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council said: "We place a great deal of importance on physical activity for young people and in offering these free swimming sessions we are helping to make sport and fitness accessible for all."
If you have a child/children in school year four, five or six in Manchester and would like to register them on free swimming lessons, please contact 0161 274 1244.
Claire Keegan, Press Office tel: 0161 234 4014
For more information on free swimming lessons or the Swimlife swimming programme, contact Kim Wilson, Aquatic Commercial Manager on 0161 274 1244.