Free swimming lessons for anyone over the age of 11 in Merton

GLL and Merton Council have been targeting local groups within the borough to offer free swimming lessons at the borough’s leisure centres from 2 January 2010.

Part of the government’s Free Swimming scheme launched earlier this year, this initiative is designed to give more people the chance to learn to swim and become more active. Run in conjunction with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), free swimming lessons in Merton will be delivered by GLL in partnership with Merton Council.

All Merton residents aged over 11 who either can’t swim or lack the confidence to swim can benefit from up to six hours of free lessons – taken either as 12 half hour lessons or in 45 minute to one hour long sessions in groups of between eight and twelve pupils.

Anyone interested in joining a course of free swimming lessons should contact Merton Council on 020 8545 3663 or alternatively email leisure@merton.gov.uk

Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: “Swimming is an important skill for life. It’s also a fun and inexpensive way to keep fit, so our residents will be able to gain considerable benefit from these free lessons at no personal expense. We want to encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of this amazing offer and get in touch with us at the council so we can register them with their local leisure centre.”

Andrew Clark, Swimming Development Manager from GLL, said “This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to put a toe in the water and start the journey to learn an essential life skill for free. Swimming can be enjoyed by all members of the family, regardless of age or fitness level.”

As part of the Government’s free swimming programme, this initiative is designed to give more people the opportunity to swim and maximise the health benefits of swimming. It is a key part of plans to leave a lasting legacy from London 2012 by helping more people to get active.

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Note to editors

GLL is a social enterprise that exists for the benefits of the community. Based on charitable objectives, GLL is a non-profit distributing organisation, which operates seventy public leisure centres within the M25 area in partnership with thirteen London Boroughs, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Reading Borough Council, Bellingham Community Project, the London Development Agency and London Playing Fields Foundation. GLL is London’s most successful Social Enterprise.