Merton Council has announced it is making its free swimming sessions for kids permanent after a successful trial period last summer today (14 September).
It means timetabled swimming sessions at Merton’s three leisure centres will be free for the Borough’s under 16 year-olds all year round.
The announcement comes in the run up to Merton’s Big Sports Day on Sunday, 24 September.
Councillor Ross Garrod, Leader of Merton Council, said: “We want to create more opportunities for people to get active in our borough, but we know that the cost of living crisis is a barrier to many in Merton. That’s why we took this decision to come up with the cash and make kids swim free sessions permanent in Merton.
“On top of this we’re also holding our unique Big Sports Day next Sunday at the Canons where there will be a host of free taster activities to inspire all our residents to get active, whatever their age or ability.
“It’s all part of our bid to create a fitter healthier Merton and become London’s Borough of Sport.”
For more information on when free swimming sessions are available in our leisure centres and how to book your slot go to: Free swimming for kids | Merton Council
The council’s kids swim free trial in the summer saw over 3,100 visits between July and August this year – compared to 428 last year when it was paid for. The initiative has been developed in partnership with GLL, who run Merton’s three leisure centres in Wimbledon, Morden and Mitcham.
Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, Cabinet Member for Sport and Heritage, said: “Making kids swim free sessions permanent is about investing in our children’s health and fitness which is great for the borough’s future.”
GLL’s Merton Partnership Manager, James Brackenborough said: “As a charitable social enterprise GLL exist to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities by raising activity levels.
“So we are very pleased to be supporting London Borough of Merton’s Free Swimming for under 16’s as a way of getting youngsters moving more often. Swimming is another great way of getting more exercise into your daily routine and marries well with Merton’s Borough of Sport ambitions.”
For more information about Merton’s Big Sports Day go to: www.merton.gov.uk/boroughofsport