Following months of closure caused by the pandemic, Falkirk Community Trust which operates Grangemouth Sports Complex, The Mariner and Bo’ness Recreation Centre, has been able to facilitate the return of 630 children to the national Learn to Swim Framework.
The framework, a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water, is delivered by Leisure Trusts and aquatic providers and enables children of all ages to become safe and confident swimmers.
Falkirk Community Trust welcomed back children between the ages of six months and 13 years from Monday, for the first lessons in the area since pools had to close in December following an initial re-opening in September at the end of the first national lockdown.
Christina Mackenzie, swimming development officer at Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We were delighted to restart our Learn to Swim programme on April 26 – the first day our facilities were permitted to reopen this year.
"It’s a pleasure to welcome the children back to our pools to continue their swim journey and help them to become more confident and safer in water.”
A number of measures have been put in place to protect children and staff from COVID-19, including social distancing, additional hygiene procedures, instructors teaching from poolside and children arriving to lessons “beach ready” with their swimming costumes on under clothing.
Euan Lowe, Scottish Swimming chief executive officer, said: “After a long period of various closures and restrictions, we’re thrilled to see children return to the water.
“It’s great to see their excitement and eagerness to get back into the water. We look forward to seeing lessons resume right across the country over the coming weeks.
“It is also encouraging to see the nation’s youngsters take a lead in showing that health and leisure activities can be resumed post-lockdown. We know from recent studies and advice from the World Health Organisation that the properties of chlorine make pool environments safe spaces during this pandemic to participate in sport and exercise.
“The Leisure Trusts and aquatic providers involved with Learn to Swim has shown what can be achieved when everyone works so closely and diligently together.”