How Wymondham Leisure Centre is giving young and old a chance to improve in the pool

Swimming teacher Jame Fowle with beginner student Kevin McMullan at Wymondham Leisure Centre's pool.

Swimming teacher Jame Fowle with beginner student Kevin McMullan at Wymondham Leisure Centre's pool. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

School children around south Norfolk are to be given presentations on the importance of learning how to swim and survival skills in the water as part of a new programme.

Swimming teacher Jame Fowle with beginner student Kevin McMullan at Wymondham Leisure Centre's pool.

Swimming teacher Jame Fowle with beginner student Kevin McMullan at Wymondham Leisure Centre's pool. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

Steve Goddard, South Norfolk Council's (SNC) head of leisure services, said it was part of a council-led scheme to visit schools across the district.

Mr Goddard said: 'Swimming is a life skill we all need, and we're on the verge of doing our first year-level presentations at schools, talking about water safety, the need to learn to swim and what to do and not do around water.'

It follows a successful year for the pool facilities at Wymondham Leisure Centre, which was fully reopened in April 2016 after a £4m refurbishment and extension. The pool was reopened in October the year before.

Mr Goddard said: 'We opened the pool as the first phase of our redevelopment and it has gone from strength to strength.

'If we had another learner pool we could fill that as well because there's such a demand.

'There has always been an appetite for junior lessons because it's such a necessity. Especially in this county with the amount of lakes and rivers that we've got, as well as our coastline. And there are also so many people that go on foreign holidays, and swimming is often a part of that.'

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Mr Goddard said the pool's swimming scheme, which used to run only in term time, had recently been extended to 50 weeks a year, and overall visitors numbers to the pool were up 30pc on the previous year.

He said there were 1,775 children and adults taking part in swim scheme programmes at Wymondham and the other SNC-run pool at the Diss Leisure Centre. And while the demand for children's swim courses is booming, the number of adults also wanting to take up or improve on their water skills is also increasing.

The leisure centre runs aqua zumba classes, as well as adult swimming lessons for beginners and the more advanced.

Jomie Fowle, swimming teacher, said: 'People want to take lessons for all sorts of reasons. Some of them are beginners, and want to be able to join in with their grandchildren. Then we have improvers who are looking to swim more efficiently.'

To find out more about the swimming programme at Wymondham Leisure Centre, call 01953 607171.

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