‘A groundswell of people who believe it is badly needed’ - editor explains our Summer of Swimming campaign

Norwich Evening News and Norwich Advertiser editor David Powles. Photo : Steve Adams

Norwich Evening News and Norwich Advertiser editor David Powles. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Editor David Powles explains why we are launching the Summer of Swimming campaign.

For a number of reasons I never really learned how to swim.

I probably didn't pay enough attention in school lessons, I was too busy spending my spare time as a youngster playing football and it wasn't something we did that regularly as a family.

And there have been various points in my life I've regretted it.

None more so than now that I have two young boys growing up fast, who we already take on trips to the fabulous coast. When they are older I want to feel confident enough that I can join them in the water - but also that once they are in there they know what they are doing. That's why we already head to the nearby pool as often as we can and, fortunately, it's a place they love to be at.

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But that's just one, very personal, reason why we are launching this campaign. The main reason is that there is a groundswell of people out there who believe it is badly needed.

That swimming is an activity worth being able to do should not be in doubt. It's a fantastic form of exercise, low impact and relatively low in cost when you work out how little equipment you need.

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Meanwhile, in a region like ours there must be very few people who don't encounter water at some stage in their lives - clearly it's better they can be safe and know what they are doing when that time comes.

But despite this, participation in the activity is falling and too many schools are either closing pools or not pushing kids to give swimming a try.

This is particularly an issue in some of our most deprived communities. Meanwhile, every year we have to sadly report on tragedies in the water.

We don't know if they could have been prevented of course, but being confident at swimming can only help if you or others face danger.

That's why we are launching our Summer of Swimming, to keep people fit and active but also to try to keep people alive.

I would urge you to have a think about ways in which you might be able to get involved - no matter how small or big it may seem.

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