Young swimmers throughout Lanarkshire will be able to make a splash again as eight pools get set to reopen across the region.

Following months of closure caused by COVID-19 the pandemic, South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC), which operates nine pools, has been able to facilitate the return of more than 3000 children to the national Learn to Swim Framework.

A partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water, the framework is delivered by Leisure Trusts and aquatic providers and enables children of all ages to become safe and confident swimmers.

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Three thousand children between the ages of five and 11 have been able to take part in swimming lessons since April 26 at three sites, with a further five pools to be available for lessons from May 31 – the first lessons in the area since pools had to close in December.

David Booth, SLLC general manager, told Lanarkshire Live: “We are delighted children are able to begin returning start to swimming lessons – this is such an important life skill from both safety and health points of view and is enjoyed by so many.

Over 3000 children have taken part in South Lanarkshire

“It is also heart-warming for us, as providers of leisure facilities, to see the excitement on the faces of everyone able to start using them again. Leisure is all about enjoyment and we look forward to seeing all of those who take part in leisure and sport – and maybe some new faces, too – returning to doing so over the coming weeks.

“It is important, however, that while we enjoy this welcome return, we all remember that this virus has not gone away – but by observing the guidelines put in place we can help stop the spread and continue on the road to recovery.

“Our priorities have not changed – our number-one concern is always for the safety of our staff and customers, and I would ask all our service users to observe the measures we have introduced and to adhere to them at all times.

The framework provides a way for youngsters to learn to swim

“In the meantime, I would like to thank all our customers for their patience and understanding as we begin this next phase of recovery and look forward to seeing them back enjoying their leisure.”

New measures have been put in place, including social distancing, additional hygiene procedures, instructors teaching from poolside and children arriving to lessons ‘Beach Ready’ with their swimming costumes on under clothing.

It's a thumbs up from these youngsters

The Learn to Swim partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water was extended for a fourth year in 2020 following its success in creating a 100,000-strong new generation of safe swimmers.

More information on the Learn to Swim Framework can be found here.

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