August 2, 2010 11.51 am This story is over 165 months old

New life for city swimming schemes, amid government funds cutbacks

Swimming saved? The city council teamed up with Active Nation and Yarborough Leisure Centre to bring back free swimming.

Yarborough Leisure Centre will host new swimming schemes, despite the government-funded free swimming scheme being cancelled early. The City of Lincoln Council partnered with Active Nation to devise the new schemes and encourage people to keep swimming and stay active.

For under 16s, there is a new pay-and-play loyalty scheme. Each time a swimmer pays for a session, they are given one point. When they have five points, they can claim a free swim. Young swimmers can also get a junior swimming membership for £10 per month, which allows unlimited swimming in all casual swimming lessons.

Active Nation will introduce free swimming during Yarbrough Leisure Centre’s three-monthly Discovery Days, which host various free activities. Over 60s are encouraged to take advantage of the £22 monthly membership option as well, which offers unlimited casual, swim fit, and fifty plus swimming sessions as well as use of the gym, fitness classes, sauna and steam room.

“Undoubtedly, the government free swimming initiative has dramatically increased activity levels across the city and this is a trend we are actively trying to continue,” said Stuart Blackbourn, Contract Manager at Yarborough Leisure Centre.

“As a legacy we now have a Swimming Development manager who will be solely looking at initiatives to increase the participation in our pools and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to maintain an active lifestyle,” Blackbourn added.

“It was disappointing to learn that government funding for the free swimming scheme was to be withdrawn, especially given its popularity,” said Councillor Alister Williams, Portfolio Holder for Health and Recreation.

“We have been very clear that […] we are still committed to improving the health of the city, so we have worked to create a number of alternative schemes to keep people in the pool, build on the legacy of the free swimming scheme and look forward to sport becoming more of a focus as we get closer to the 2012 Olympics,” he said.

Source: City of Lincoln Council | Photo: Get Set London 2012 | Related Report: Lincolnshire Echo