Duncan Scott Makes Waves in Falkirk
School pupils enjoyed a one-of-a-kind swimming lesson with Olympic medallist Duncan Scott on 6th November to celebrate the success of Scotland’s ground-breaking programme teaching youngsters to take to the water.
The swimming hero took to the pool to show the children some top techniques for learning to be a great swimmer and took part in a Q&A session.
The success of the scheme in Falkirk Community Trust area extends beyond local schools, with almost a quarter of all participants in the area of pre-school age, between 3 and 5 years – a fact Duncan said he believed was crucial in getting the nation’s youngsters swimming.
The Learn to Swim Framework, developed by Scottish Swimming and supported by Scottish Water, is delivered locally by leisure trusts and local authorities.
Duncan, who proudly takes on the role of Learn to Swim Ambassador, said: “It’s great to see how much the kids in Falkirk love swimming, and being given the opportunity to share my advice and keep them motivated on their swimming journey is what I love about being ambassador.
“Swimming is so much more than just a sport – it’s an important life skill that keeps you safe and healthy. But if the kids are aspiring swimmers, then starting at the grassroots through the programme is a great way to go.”
Maureen Campbell, Chief Executive of Falkirk Community Trust, said: “Since adopting the national framework, we’ve seen children in the local area make great progress with their swimming skills.
“It has been a real hit, and having Duncan come along to inspire the children made it a very special day. It’s exciting to think that one of the children here today could follow in his footsteps and go on be the next swimming champion.”
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 Scottish Swimming’s National Framework for Swimming in Scotland.
The Learn to Swim Framework is provided across eight pools in Falkirk and the surrounding area, Grangemouth Sports Complex, The Mariner Leisure Centre, Bo’ness Recreation Centre, St Mungos High School, Braes High School, Denny High School, Larbert High School and Grangemouth High School.
Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Swimming, said: “Falkirk’s efforts in making sure that it’s Learn to Swim programme reaches children at a really young age is fantastic as it is at the pre-school age that children develop confidence and a real love of swimming.”
“Thanks to Scottish Water’s support and the hard work of our country’s leisure trusts, Scottish Swimming is able to roll out the National Framework which will ultimately reach over 100,000 young people.”
Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs with Scottish Water, said: “This is an excellent scheme for us to be involved with in so many ways and we’re proud to support it.
“The programme equips children with key, life skills that will help them to be safer in the water, whether at their local pool, at the beach on holiday or even just out and about around Scotland’s miles of coastline, rivers and lochs.”
The Learn to Swim Framework helps to create quality Learn to Swim environments for children from birth upwards where they can become competent, confident and safe swimmers with opportunities to progress through the aquatic pathway and to swim for fun.
There are already more than 53,000 kids – including 5,600 pre-school children – who are on the programme and the target is to reach 100,000 children across Scotland by 2020.