We could become a nation of non-swimmers

Diving seal, Farne Islands, photo by Farne Island Divers

Diving seal, Farne Islands, photo by Farne Island Divers

Britain could become a nation of non-swimmers if action is not taken to dramatically improve school access to facilities and lessons.

The University of East Anglia have published research showing that fifty one per cent of children aged seven to eleven in the UK cannot swim twenty five metres. This is despite the fact that it is a requirement of the national curriculum.

Twenty five metres is not very far to be able to swim. In Sweden for example children are expected to be able to swim 200 metres of which at least fifty metres should be on the back.

The problem is most acute in rural areas where small schools face problems of time and cost of transporting children to pools.

These non-swimming children will grow up to be non-swimming adults who in turn are unlikely to take their own children swimming and so we could indeed become a nation of non-swimmers.

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