Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Duncan Scott, double Olympic silver medallist launches Scottish Swimming’s National Framework for Swimming in Aberdeen 6th September

"I hope that for many children these lessons will be the start of a lifetime of enjoyment.” Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport

On 6th September double Olympic silver medallist Duncan Scott launched Scottish Swimming’s new National Framework for Swimming in Scotland at Aberdeen Sports Village Aquatics Centre.

The new National Framework, which has already been adopted by 16 Local Authorities, will eventually be rolled out across the whole of Scotland, benefiting around 100,000 children nationwide. The Framework supports aquatic providers in the delivery of quality learn to swim programmes, contributing to Scottish Swimming’s vision Everyone Can Swim.

The joint launch event between Scottish Swimming and partners: Aberdeen Sports Village, Sport Aberdeen and Aberdeen Amateur Swimming Club (AASC) presented Scottish Swimming’s new National Framework for Swimming in Scotland which shows a clear pathway from the Early Years through to Club Ready swimming. While not every child who learns to swim will make it to the Olympics, Scottish Swimming were proud to share Duncan Scott’s story as someone who has completed the aquatic pathway over fifteen years and enjoyed recent success at the top level in the sport.

With an estimated 40% of children still unable to swim by the time they leave primary school, there has never been a more crucial time to roll out the National Framework for Swimming in Scotland. The Framework highlights the importance of swimming from as early an age as possible as the first seven years are the most influential in establishing good exercise habits and setting foundations for learning throughout life.  Establishing a good relationship with water at an early age helps encourage lifelong participation. What is more, the new framework makes learning fun and it encourages children to take the next steps on the swimmer pathway in to club swimming.

Ally Whike, Director of Performance comments:

“Learning to Swim is an essential life skill. By getting the fundamentals right at as early an age as possible,  by developing a love for the sport and by progressing through achievable steps on the aquatic pathway, children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds are opened up to a range of opportunities. Swimming is a sport for all and a sport for life. While some children will progress into performance through the aquatic pathway; others will enjoy the fun, fitness and friendship that comes with a high participation sport.”

Sharon MacDonald, Director of Development echoed Whike’s comments:

“Swimming is a fantastic sport which can be started just as soon as the parent is confident enough to take their baby along to the pool. The framework starts with ‘Early Years’ classes which provide fun games and activities which can also be practised at home in the bath. It leads on to swim skill levels which develop the aquatic competences needed for swimming as well as other disciplines such as diving, synchronised swimming, water polo and water safety skills. Ultimately it leads to the child becoming Club Ready or ready for lifelong participation."

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, comments:

“This is a valuable initiative that will benefit thousands of children across Scotland. Swimming is a great activity, whether you enjoy it as a competitive sport or a recreational pastime. I hope that for many children these lessons will be the start of a lifetime of enjoyment.”