FAMILIES are getting back in the swim – and building up their confidence after being out of the water for so long.

Since reopening on April 12, Dorchester Sports Centre 1610 says swim lesson demand for babies and young children has grown to almost exceed pre-Covid levels.

In the past month, 228 new children have joined the swim school and more than 1,200 children are now learning to swim each week. The centre also has 22 pre-school and baby toddler groups a week due to such high demand for this age group.

It comes after the sport’s governing body Swim England said that more than 5 million swimming sessions were lost during the pandemic – for 1610 this equated to more than 134,000 lost swimming sessions.

Caroline Goode, Swim Coordinator and Customer Sales Manager for Dorchester, said: “Since returning to the pool we have noticed that after such a long time out of the water many children have lost confidence, discipline and ability in the water. However, after four weeks of being back, many of the children are already starting to grow in confidence, develop and begin to progress.”

Ricky Hayes, Head of Aquatics and Operations for 1610, added: “It’s absolutely wonderful to see so many people back swimming and enjoying the water. It is particularly great to see that our swim lessons are proving to be so popular.

"Swimming is often talked about as an important life skill to ensure adults and children are safe in and around water, and although this is extremely important it is also so much more than this. Swimming is also an enabling activity which opens the door to many other sports and activities. The pandemic has really prevented this area of development so it is great to be back, creating the next generation of passionate swimmers."

1610 has a number of plans over the coming year to support children, parents and schools make up for lost time and top up their learning. Dorchester Sports Centre have already had five schools return to the pool and will be working with many schools from September onwards to ensure the children achieve the national curriculum for swimming.

Dorchester Sports Centre is also home to West Dorset Swim Club which is welcoming new swimmers - visit https://uk.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=swrwdsc


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