CVS was delighted to be able to help Teignmouth Swimming Club find funding and volunteers to support their Free Teen Swimming Crash Course project The Communities Together Fund (supported by Teignmouth Town Council) and Swimathon Foundation Charity funding provided funding, and qualified swimming teachers and NPLQ life guards volunteered their time. At the end of the day it was people not pounds that made this course a success.
The Teignmouth Swimming Club initiative was designed for children and young people 11- 16 years to build water confidence for non-swimmers in small groups. The aim is to get everyone safe and confident in water and well on their way to swimming 25 metres. Children are expected to have learnt to swim at primary school; however the reality is many do not learn this vital skill. There is a real danger that young people from poorer backgrounds will never learn to swim – a skill that could save their lives.
The course, held at Dawlish Leisure Centre, was initially massively oversubscribed, but fortunately more volunteers were found to meet most of the demand, and the course was a huge success.
The young people who took part, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, were all water-confident and swimming by the end of the course. Additionally, social workers who helped several youngsters access this opportunity reported improved self confidence and self-esteem in the young people they help as a result.
There are calls to repeat the course next year and to also offer the opportunity to Dawlish youngsters.