Hundreds of children from the Falkirk area are among the 50,000 across Scotland benefiting from potentially lifesaving swimming lessons.
It is thanks to a partnership between Scottish Water and Scottish Swimming which has been running for six months.
Both organisations are thrilled with the response to the Learn to Swim programme, part of Scottish Swimming’s national framework for swimming in Scotland, which has already been adopted by more than 17 leisure trusts and local authorities covering 100 pools across the country.
Falkirk Community Trust was among the first leisure trusts to adopt the framework, which aims to provide quality environments for children to learn to swim, and has already rolled it out across six swimming pools.
It means that more than 2300 children in the Falkirk district are benefiting from the swimming lessons.
Brian Lironi, director of external communications with Scottish Water, said: “This is a brilliant scheme for us to be involved with in so many ways and we’re delighted it is off to such an excellent start.
“First and foremost, we’re thrilled that so many children are learning how to swim and that this will help give them the confidence and skills to be safer in the water, whether at their local swimming pool, at the beach on holiday or just if they are out and about around Scotland’s miles of coastline, rivers and lochs.
“Beyond that, it’s a great way to show how water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, from keeping hydrated with the clear, fresh drinking water at your taps, to taking the plunge in your local pool as the ideal form of exercise.”
Since helping to launch the programme, double Olympic silver medallist Duncan Scott has been championing the cause, and he is delighted with the results so far.
He said: “Getting children into the pool so that they can have fun while learning how to stay safe is the number one priority.
“Whether they simply become regulars at the pool with their friends or whether they go onto enjoy competitive club swimming, nothing but good things can come from encouraging more and more children – and hopefully their families – into the water.”