Potentially lifesaving lessons
Over 2,300 children from South Ayrshire benefit from potentially lifesaving swimming lessons each week as part of an initiative involving the Council and Scottish Swimming.
South Ayrshire Council was one of the first to adopt the Learn 2 Swim initiative, which runs in all Council pools. The lessons which are open to children up to 16 years of age run at least once a week with youngsters progressing over a number of levels as a result of the high-quality teaching.
One of the success stories is Fiona Dawson. Fiona has been a volunteer with South Ayrshire Council for just over a year and in that time has successfully passed her Level 1 Teaching Aquatics Course with Scottish Swimming.
Heavily involved in the Council's disability programmes and the South Ayrshire Para Squad, Fiona believes if you keep trying and never give up anything is possible. She said: "Being a swimming coach has given me the confidence to speak up and have a voice. I really enjoy it and have taught children and adults. Swimming has helped me and I want to help other people."
Councillor Brian McGinley, Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder said: "Our Learn 2 Swim programme underlines the importance of our facilities which are transforming lives and helping people from all walks of life achieve their ambitions.
"We are particularly proud of the opportunities that we provide for young people with disabilities. Fiona's experience of Learn 2 Swim is inspirational and testimony to the success of the programme. I am sure many more children and young people will benefit from this initiative in the future"
Forbes Dunlop, CEO of Scottish Swimming, said: "There is no downside to getting more and more children learning to swim. It's good for health, it helps promote safety, it encourages children to higher attainment in their schoolwork and other areas of their lives and it's good for families and communities."
More than 50,000 children across Scotland have taken part in the swimming initiative which has Olympic pool hero Duncan Scott as an ambassador. It's hoped that more than 100,000 youngsters across the country will get involved inspiring the next generation of competitive swimmers.