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Free Swimming Scheme Set To Be Extended

Sandwell Council is set to extend its popular free swimming scheme for young people and those aged 60-plus.

Cabinet member Councillor Paul Moore said the council plans to extend the scheme for a further two years.

Young people aged 16 and under living in Sandwell can currently swim for free at any public swimming session at Sandwell leisure centres in the school holidays.

Older people living in Sandwell – aged 60-plus – can also swim for free up to 1pm daily all year round.

More than 7,500 adults and more than 28,000 children and young people have become members of the scheme since it was launched in June 2013.

Since the scheme was extended in April 2015, eligible people have enjoyed nearly 250,000 free swims.

Recent surveys have also showed that people aged 60-plus and 16 and under swim more often when free swimming is available, with older people keen to boost their health and young people enjoying socialising with others and improving their swimming ability and confidence in water.

Councillor Moore said: “We want to extend our free public swimming scheme, which has been a great success over the past five years.

“Swimming is not only fun but also has big benefits for people’s physical and mental health.

“I am pleased we are now able to put forward proposals to extend the scheme until 2020, working with Sandwell Leisure Trust and Places for People Leisure which run swimming centres in Sandwell.”

A report on the proposed extension of the free swimming programme will go to the council’s cabinet meeting on 21 March.