Swimming Alliance aims to tackle common challenges facing sector

A new group has been formed by key organisations to tackle common challenges facing the entire swimming sector.

The Swimming Alliance will offer a single, cohesive voice on crucial issues affecting public swimming pools and open water spaces across the UK – and look to develop solutions that can be implemented by all those involved.

Initially convened by Sport England, the founding members of the Alliance represent the diversity of the sector.

They include Swim England, leisure operators, other national governing bodies, charities and membership organisations.

A number of key issues have already been identified following a survey by Alliance members and include:

  • Increasing learning to swim and participation levels amongst adults and children
  • Tackling the impact of energy prices on municipal pools
  • Increasing the use of swimming for health initiatives
  • Ensuring that open water is safe and clean for outdoor swimmers
  • Increasing diversity at all levels of swimming.

The Swimming Alliance’s newly-elected voluntary chair is Debbie Kaye, the former chair of the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association.

Debbie said: “By working together, and combining our expertise and resources, we believe that we will be able to achieve more.

“On a number of swimming-related issues, the partner bodies within the Swimming Alliance have a common cause, enabling us to speak with a single voice, be that to Government or to the general public, and collaborate effectively on solutions.

“Access to swimming in the UK is currently at risk, due to a multitude of factors.

“The number of children learning to swim is continuing to fall and the number of drownings are rising; increasing numbers of public swimming pools are threatened with closure due to high energy costs and the financial pressures on local authorities, and Britain’s coast and rivers are experiencing unprecedented levels of water pollution.

“It is crucial that we act together and act now to ensure the situation gets better, not worse.”

  • Original Article: Swim England
  • Date: June 2024