Parents in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to enrol their children on summer swimming schools to ensure they can stay safe near water.

National figures from Swim England say one in three youngsters cannot swim.

Freedom Leisure, which operates Friary Grange Leisure Centre and Burntwood Leisure Centre, says it is crucial that children are able to learn the “important life skill”.

The swimming pool at Burntwood Leisure Centre

The company’s regional aquatic development manager Vanessa Bale said:

“When it comes to your child’s swimming ability, what parents really need to consider is, can my child swim well enough? Is my child a strong enough swimmer? Has my child had any water safety education?

“I speak to many parents who say their child can swim a length so they don’t need lessons anymore – just because a child can swim a little or struggle through a length while wearing swimwear, this does not necessarily mean they would be able to save themselves if they fell into water.

“During the summer, with more children put in situations that often include water-based activities, we want to encourage parents to check that their children are strong enough swimmers and have the ability to understand how to get themselves out of difficulty to minimise the risk of drowning.”

Vanessa Bale, Freedom Leisure

Spaces are currently available on the swim school programme in Lichfield and Burntwood. For more details visit

Freedom Leisure contract manager Nick Meehan said:

“As a not-for-profit leisure trust, it is Freedom Leisure’s desire to not only grow swimming participation as a great fitness opportunity but to support as many children and adults within our community to acquire this important lifesaving skill.

“We now have over 1,750 children and adults in our swim school programme, but we want more people to join our lessons, because we aspire for all children and many more adults to be safe in water.”

Nick Meehan, Freedom Leisure

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