Monday, April 07, 2014

Local Authorities and Leisure Trust Networking Event

Participation Programme Manager Craig Mathieson, “ Hopefully through our speakers we have given everyone some excellent ideas to return home with ensuring every child can swim"

Scottish Swimming hosted their first Local Authority and Leisure Trust networking event on Friday 4th April 2014 at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow; bringing together over 30 delegates from local authorities and leisure trusts across Scotland to network and share good practice on swimming.

Two key topics were the focus of the day, firstly Ishbel Mckay and Shona Anderson from Edinburgh Council presented on “ensuring every child can swim” and how Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Leisure established a strong working partnership to assess and improve the success rate of the Triple S programme. This was followed by Heather Williams from Edinburgh Leisure discussing the unique “Jump in” programme and how this has increased participation in swimming across Edinburgh. These presentations touched on early intervention; school swimming and community learn to swim and explored the importance of these programmes and how we ensure quality is at the forefront.

Gerry Campbell from South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture presented on how to meet the needs of all aquatic users whilst generating income and shared South Lanarkshire’s current aquatic model, the hurdles that had to be overcome and the benefits now being seen. Gerry discussed some common difficulties for local authorities looking to improve their model and how to overcome them, including having the resources to deliver, market research/swimming trends and effective pool programming.

Karen Ferguson who is Enjoy Leisure’s Swimming Development Coordinator said of the event “The Local Authority and Leisure Trust Networking Event was a great opportunity to meet and discuss ideas with people in a similar position, in turn making contacts that I will be able to use in the future. To have the opportunity to listen about other projects and programmes and how they are run, giving ideas to possibly implement ourselves.”

The delegates also experienced Scotland’s top swimming athletes performing at the Scottish Gas National Championships at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre for the finals session to see who might make Scotland’s Commonwealth games team for 2014.

Scottish Swimming’s Participation Programme Manager Craig Mathieson said “This was an excellent opportunity for delegates from local authorities and leisure trusts across Scotland to come together and share best practices, explore market opportunities and to network with fellow delegates. Hopefully through our speakers we have given everyone some excellent ideas to return home with in ensuring every child can swim.”

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